Vodafone is considering its options after BT has announced it is in talks to acquire a major mobile player in the UK. Currently O2 and EE have both been highlighted as possible targets for the telecoms giant. In what could turn into a regulatory nightmare for Ofcom any deal that would make BT dominant in both mobile and fixed line services will have a major impact on other providers like Vodafone.
In the past the mobile network has indicated that Liberty Global, owners of Virgin Media, would be a good strategic partner as both companies are aligned in their goals.
According to the Times Vodafone’s top executives have been locked in a strategy meeting since Thursday last week which has sparked speculation about a possible deal in the fixed line market. It’s also been claimed that Vodafone has considered moving in on budget telco TalkTalk. But such a buyout would be seen as a less attractive option, given its reliance on BT’s infrastructure.
“If BT comes more into mobile then we will go more into consumer broadband,” Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao warned days before BT’s talks with O2 were confirmed.
No doubt other mobile and fixed line providers are considering their future in the UK market and there could be some major landscape shifts over the next twelve months. We expect to see a flurry of M&A activity in 2015 from a number of big players across the fixed-line/ mobile/ and TV services market.
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