EE confirmed as second network in takeover talks with BT

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BT is in talks with both EE and O2 regarding a possible takeover.

We were taken by relative surprise on Monday when British Telecom announced that they were in talk to takeover O2, the same company they sold to Telefonica 10 years ago.

Upon confirming their interest in O2 they also revealed that there was one other UK mobile network operator that they were holding preliminary talks with, and now that has been confirmed as EE, also known as EverythingEverywhere.

Today EE's joint owners, Orange and Deutsche Telekom, announced that they have both been involved in "highly preliminary exploratory discussions with BT" about selling its network.

Discussions are only in the very early stages but taking over the UK's largest mobile network operator would be a huge boost to BT's quad-play ambitions and ultimate goal of getting back into the network industry, which they left after the sale of O2.

However as stated in Engadget's report, getting hold of a company the size of EE might face significant opposition. Should BT, who are currently the biggest fixed-line provider in the UK, manage to takeover EE they would instantly become the market leader for the number of customers and the size of their network spectrum.

Such a position of instant dominance is likely to not sit very well with communications regulator Ofcom and the European Commission.

We shouldn't rule out the possibility that O2 could still be taken over though. Their acquisition would likely be a lot easier considering their mobile network is substantially smaller than that of EE. 

If reports are to be believed then they would also come at a cheaper price. It's understood that BT are willing to pay Telefonica £11 billion for O2; there isn't yet a rumoured figure for what EE would cost but you can be sure it will be a lot more than that.