BT in talks to buy U.K. mobile carrier EE for US$19.5 billion

The deal would help BT sell bundled fixed and mobile services

BT Group has entered exclusive talks to buy U.K. mobile operator EE for 12.5 billion pounds (US$19.5 billion), a deal that would help the carrier offer bundles of mobile and fixed services.

The talks don't guarantee a deal will be reached, BT said in a press release on Monday. But they point toward BT choosing EE over O2, the mobile business it sold to Telefonica 10 years ago. BT and Telefonica had also been in talks last month.

EE was formed through the merger of the T-Mobile and Orange mobile businesses in the U.K. and is jointly owned by Orange and Deutsche Telekom. Under the terms of BT's proposed acquisition, Deutsche Telekom would own 12 percent of BT and have a seat on its board. Orange would own 4 percent of BT.

The acquisition would accelerate the sale of converged fixed-mobile services to BT's consumer and business subscribers and would help BT to sell fixed-line services to EE customers, the company said. BT already sells TV service in addition to broadband and fixed-line voice. While continuing the acquisition talks, BT said it will keep working on future converged services of its own and is confident it can deliver them even without buying EE.

As mobile, voice and cable TV providers face mounting competition from Internet services including WhatsApp, Skype and Netflix, service providers in Europe are using bundles to improve their revenue streams. These "quad-play" services include broadband, mobile, TV and voice for a single monthly fee. Both U.K.-based mobile carrier Vodafone and French cable operator Numericable recently have made acquisitions to create bundled products.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobileMergers and acquisitionsbusiness issuestelecommunicationBTdeutsche telekomorangeCarriersEE

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?