Last August, in an interview with the Times, Telefónica’s chairman, José María Álvarez-Pallete, urged the United Kingdom to follow Spain’s example in fiber optics so as not to miss out on the digital revolution. Pallete remarked that in Spain there is more fiber optic than in the UK, France, Germany and Portugal together, with a penetration of 70%, compared to only 3% in the UK. Yesterday it was learned that…
O2 and Virgin merger
T.C. | The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s competition regulator, has provisionally cleared the merger of O2, Telefónica’s UK mobile subsidiary, and Virgin, the cable group controlled by US-based Liberty Global, into a company – 50% owned by the two partners – valued by the market at around 45 billion euros (more than £38 billion) and which will become, along with BT, the UK market leader. If BT has 46.3 million customers, the new company will have 46.5 million (32.6 million mobile, 5.3 million fixed broadband, 4.9 million fixed voice and 3.7 million pay TV).
Telefónica and Liberty Global reached an agreement in early May last year to merge their UK businesses and create the market-leading fixed and mobile operator in the country. According to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the combination of Telefónica subsidiary and Virgin could lead to higher prices for wholesale fiber and mobile services. Thus they announced an investigation into the merger and its possible consequences before giving the go-ahead to the deal.