The deal that will see UK telecoms giant BT absorbing the country’s biggest mobile network, EE, has been confirmed.
Back in December, it emerged that BT had agreed in principle to purchase EE. Now that deal has been signed and sealed.
According to the telecoms company, “BT has agreed definitive terms to acquire EE for £12.5bn.”
The deal sees the creation of a truly formidable combined company. BT is, of course, the biggest broadband and telephone line provider in the UK. EE, for its part, is the country’s biggest mobile network with 31 million customers.
EE also brings with it 834,000 fixed broadband customers, though that’s pretty small fry for BT. Of more interest is the fact that EE has the largest 4G customer base in Europe.
BT has announced that it will recoup this £12.5 billion outlay “by providing a full range of communications services to the combined customer base.” In other words, expect to see some high value bundles of broadband, mobile, landline, and TV in the near future.
The company also mentions the immediate return from persuading existing EE customers who do not currently use BT for their broadband needs to do so. There’s also the matter of encouraging EE TV customers to switch to BT’s offering.
“The UK’s leading 4G network will now dovetail with the UK’s biggest fibre network, helping to create the leading converged communications provider in the UK,” said BT chief executive Gavin Patterson of the deal.
Meanwhile, EE chief executive Olaf Swantree believes that “Today’s announcement will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the mobile revolution, bringing even more innovation and investment in world leading connectivity for our customers.”
Of course, with Three owner Hutchison Whampoa in talks to purchase O2, BT’s new mobile arm won’t remain the biggest fish in the UK pond for long. This is going to be an almighty scrap.