BT closes £12.5bn EE deal

EE logoBT today closed its £12.5 billion (€16.7 billion) buyout of UK mobile operator EE, giving it a major foothold in the UK quadplay market.

The completion comes after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gave the green light to the deal earlier this month, without conditions, after deciding that the take over would “not result in a substantial lessening of competition” in the UK market.

“Acquiring EE gives BT immediate access to around one in three mobile customers in the UK who already use the EE network.  BT already had an agreement with EE to use part of that network, so buying the whole thing leaves BT in a strong position to lead the telecommunications sector in the UK,” said Kantar Worldpanel senior analyst, Imran Choudhary.

“Moving into the mobile market is a must for BT to defend its premium services which are increasingly threatened as other players enhance their triple and quad play offerings.

“The purchase means BT will be able to make use of EE’s 600 plus stores on the high street, giving them a crucial presence which the telecoms giant has lacked since closing its own stores around twenty years ago.

With the completion of the deal, which was confirmed by BT in a stockmarket announcement, EE’s current owners Deutsche Telekom and Orange have received a cash consideration of £3.46 billion and take 12% and 4% respectively of BT’s shares.

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