Sunderland callcentre staff face an anxious wait to learn how they will be affected by the merger of two telecommunications giants.
Mobile firm EE employs hundreds of people at its callcentre in Doxford International's Camberwell Way.
Business watchdog The Competition and Markets Authority today cleared BT's £12.5 billion buy-out of EE.
BT chief executive Gavin Patterson described the acquisition as "great news".
He said: "We are pleased they (CMA) have found there to be no significant lessening of competition following an in-depth investigation lasting more than 10 months.
"The combined BT and EE will be a digital champion for the UK, providing high levels of investment and driving innovation in a highly competitive market.
"I have no doubt that consumers, businesses and communities will benefit as we combine the power of fibre broadband with the convenience of leading edge mobile services. I look forward to welcoming EE into the BT family."
Now BT will commence the formal process of completing the deal. A prospectus will be issued in the week commencing January 25 with the deal set to close on January 29 when EE's owners Deutsche Telekom and Orange will receive shares in BT.
The deal is expected to be completed before the end of March.
A BT spokesman said it was too early to say what the move would mean for jobs : “It is great news that the CMA has approved our acquisition of EE and we have now started the formal process of completing the deal.
"We will say more about the future structure of EE once this process has taken place.”