BT all set for O2 takeover, new report claims

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BT is all set to takeover O2, the number two mobile operator in the UK, a new report, citing sources aware of the development, has claimed. This comes just a day after BT board met to discuss the potential acquisition of EE or O2.

According to a report on This is Money, BT’s acquisition of O2 is ‘imminent’ and the announcement could be made as early as this week.

The development is believed to be a direct result of the board meeting at BT that discussed the acquisition bids alongside other routine matters. The board has seemingly given its thumbs up for the O2 acquisition, more than a decade after the company offloaded it after it demerged Cellnet.

BT had been in active discussion with owners of O2 and EE for a few weeks now. BT has to decide on which company to go for – UK’s number one operator which is owned by two companies and has a larger and more complex operation or opt for UK’s number two which is simple and is a low risk move.

Reuters, citing unnamed sources, reports that O2 could come as a natural choice considering that it was the easier deal out of the two thanks to its smaller operations. Also, Telefonica is quite eager to sell O2 looking at the increased debt pressure.

Also, move to acquire EE could lead to greater number of regulatory hurdles because if EE acquisition happens, BT would become the largest provider of mobile, landline and internet in the UK – a situation that could lead to monopoly vows and could also lead to breaking up of BT into separate companies.

No matter which company BT choses at the end, the acquisition will lead to increased offerings of all-inclusive bundles of fixed line phones, mobile, broadband and TV – something that is very common in elsewhere in Europe.