Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa has just taken a mighty bite into the UK mobile market share by buying O2 from Spain’s Telefonica.
For 13.9 billion euros Hutchison gets the UK’s number 2 operator to add to its existing 3Mobile network, the UK’s number three.
If the deal, which has been under exclusive negotiation since January, gets past the regulatory authorities it will create a giant of 30 million subscribers, the undisputed leader in Britain, where only three operators would remain in the market.
However Hutchison says it will sell 30% of the enlarged business to as-yet-unspecified parties.
The two companies say they hope the deal will be concluded by June 30 2016.