Sky, TalkTalk and Three are all interested in acquiring the O2 network. Sky and TalkTalk both want to launch their own mobile businesses in order to compete with the likes of BT, which recently snapped up EE, the largest network in the UK.
Hutchinson Whampoa, owner of Three, is planning a £9 billion bid to take over O2. Reports are saying that investment bank, UBS AG, has been hired to explore options for O2, as the company is looking to exit the UK thanks to a £50 billion debt.
If O2 and Three were to combine, then it would create the largest network in the UK, which also means that the acquisition could face opposition due to anti-competitive laws. Additionally, Three buying O2 would also mean that four out of five 4G spectrum bidders will have merged, which the government might not be too happy about.
Other operators may not like a Three-O2 merger either, Vodafone was already worried when BT acquired EE, reportedly asking Ofcom to keep tabs on BT’s business practices.
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KitGuru Says: Sky or TalkTalk would likely face less opposition if either company were to buy O2, Three on the other hand already has its place in the mobile market and may not be allowed to purchase O2 due to anti-trust concerns.
Source: The Inquirer