A £31bn merger between O2 and Virgin Media has been provisionally approved by the UK’s competition watchdog.
O2 and Virgin Media’s proposed agreement has been provisionally approved as of Spring 2021. The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) started the examination of the proposals in December 2020 and if the merger goes ahead as planned, it will bring together Virgin Media, the U.K.’s fastest broadband network, and O2, the country’s largest mobile network and create a strong fixed and mobile competitor in the U.K. market.
Virgin Media have roughly 6 million broadband and TV customers, with 3 million mobile users. Joined with O2’s 34 million mobile phone users, this Super Telecoms company is sure to be a major rival of BT. O2 also provide the network for Giffgaff, Sky and Tesco Mobile, whilst Virgin provides “leased lines” to Vodafone and Three.
What does this mean for customers?
Martin Coleman, CMA, stated “The deal is unlikely to lead to higher prices or a reduced quality of mobile services – meaning customers should continue to benefit from strong competition”.
Until the deal is fully approved this doesn’t change anything for customers, though if (as expected) the deal goes ahead, customers should benefit from a new connectivity champion in the UK with better choice, greater access to next-generation connectivity, better packages and truly converged offerings across mobile, broadband and TV.
Exciting times ahead!