After months of reports that the deal was on the cards, Three owner Hutchison Whampoa has reached “definitive terms” with Telefónica to acquire the O2 network for £10.3 billion. The move would elevate Three from being the smallest network to the largest, taking a 40% share of the UK mobile market.
While an agreement between the two parties has been reached, the sale is still subject to regulatory approvals. With such a move reducing the number of major networks from four to three, it is expected that the investigation will be incredibly thorough to ensure the long-term welfare of customers. This is because, with less competition, there is an obvious risk of providers no longer needing to offer competitive deals and incentives.
With BT also reportedly looking to purchase EE, there’s a good chance that the regulatory process won’t be completed any time soon, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated as the situation develops.