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BT in preliminary talks to buy O2

BT logoBT has confirmed that it has held “highly preliminary stage” discussions about buying a UK mobile operator – O2 or an unnamed rival.

“We have received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators, of which one is O2, about a possible transaction in which BT would acquire their UK mobile business,” the UK operator said in a statement.

Responding to recent press speculation linking BT to Telefonica-owned O2, BT said that it continues to develop its own plans for providing “enhanced mobile services to business and consumer customers.”

“We remain confident of delivering on these plans and have also been exploring ways of accelerating them, including assessing the merits of an acquisition of a mobile network operator in the UK,” said BT.

However, it stressed that there is no certainty that a deal will take place. BT said it will make a further announcements “if and when appropriate.”

BT already offers triple-play services in the UK, offering phone, broadband and TV – the latter of which includes a YouView set-top box. BT also entered into a partnership with Netflix at the end of October to make the streaming VoD service available direct to its TV customers.