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BT to purchase mobile operator EE for £12.5 billion
BT has confirmed that has bought UK mobile operator EE for a price of £12.5 billion. BT is already a major national player in fixed-line services, broadband and TV, and is now set to become a front runner in the 4G mobile market as well. EE is currently the leading 4G provider in the UK, with the largest area of network coverage and 7.7 million current subscribers.
As part of the deal, existing EE shareholders will sell all of their existing shares for a stake in the new business. Deutsche Telecom will receive 12 percent of the combined business and a seat on the board of directors, while Orange will receive a 4 percent stake.
“The combination of EE and BT will provide customers with innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband with wi-fi and advanced mobile capabilities.” – BT
The UK telecoms market looks set for a major shake up this year, with several new players looking to enter the market. Late last month the focus was on a potential purchase of O2 by Three UK and Sky recently announced its own mobile service, which will be offered via a deal with O2’s network. Rumors also hint that Virgin may be interested in consolidating its business with Vodafone.
The BT and EE deal is expected to be finalised by March 2016, providing that it is met with approval from shareholders and the Competition and Markets Authority.