In the tech world, you’re no one if you’re not buying other companies. Apple bought Beats, Microsoft acquired Skype, Facebook picked up WhatsApp, Lenovo nabbed Motorola…
We heard a few weeks ago that BT was interested in O2 (which essentially started life as BT Cellnet), but it turns out the telecoms colossus is more interested in EE, with exclusive negotiations now underway.
BT released an official statement a couple of weeks ago in response to media speculation, confirming it had “received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators”, one of those being O2.
The other was presumed to be EE, and it turns out that was right on the proverbial money, as confirmed in a further statement.
In a nutshell, BT is currently in exclusive negotiations with EE’s parent companies Deutsche Telekom and Orange. If those negotiations are successful, BT will pick up EE for a cool £12.5bn.
The exclusivity of “several weeks” is of interest, since Three Mobile was also rumoured to be interested in a bid for EE. You snooze, you lose.
BT says it’s excited about the prospect of acquiring the UK’s most advanced 4G mobile network. Importantly, it’ll become a “quad” player akin to Virgin Media, offering TV, broadband, mobile and landline services.