BT Shares Rise As O2 Bidding War Begins
The other day we reported on the rumor that’s going around concerning BT’s desire to either purchase or affiliate themselves with an existing UK mobile network with the objective of establishing a network of their very own.
Those rumors have created quite the buzz in both the tech community and the stock market. Following the emergence of the rumor, and the confirmation of the talks by both BT and Telefonica in Spain, shares in BT have risen by around 1.6 percent to 400.2p per share.
The bidding war is brewing, however – a struggle between BT and Three may ensue for control over O2, as Three’s Hutchison Whampoa has reportedly been considering putting in a bid for O2 before the end of the year.
Both Three and BT are also interested in potentially acquiring EE as well – potentially both EE and O2 could get scooped up by one company or the other, but for the moment the main focus seems to be on O2.
EE is currently the biggest mobile network in the UK, and will most likely command a higher price, whereas the combination of either Three’s or BT’s existing assets with a less successful network such as O2 could work out better, and cheaper, in the long run.
It’s a tangled web of bidding and buying at the moment, especially since Whampoa and Three have entered the game – BT’s sights are fully set on developing their own flagship mobile network, which would mean BT are able to offer a complete package for mobile, landline, internet and TV to UK residents.
In the event that BT does take on board O2, the second biggest mobile network behind EE, the combination of the two would be substantial enough to challenge EE’s dominance in the UK. Obviously it would be easier to just buy EE to achieve that top spot, but for BT the challenge of going their own way and making to the top spot without paying as much does seem like a better option.
In the climate of purchases and shuffling that saw high street retailer Phones4U go under earlier in the year due to canceled deals, it really does seem like that the UK mobile network game will see a lot of changes by 2015.
As it’s going right now, the next year will probably be a massively exciting one in terms of tech. We’re seeing almost every big announcement or product being billed for next year, very few have been announced at any point during 2016, so it’s safe to say that things will be very interesting. Watch this space.