EE Joins O2 On BT's Mobile Network Shopping List

By Gerald Lynch on at

It's surfaced this week that BT is seriously considering jumping back into the mobile telecoms sphere, as network operators increasingly move towards offering quad play (TV, mobile, home phone and broadband) services. Though the focus has been on a potential O2 buyout, BT itself admitted that it had "received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators." One of those networks is EE, 50/50 owners Orange and Deutsche Telekom have confirmed.

Revealing they are "having  highly preliminary exploratory discussions with British Telecom", the EE umbrella companies stated that they "regularly analyse the development of the market in which EE operates, evaluating various strategic options which have the potential to create value for EE's shareholders and strengthen the market position of EE."

However, they also conceded that "it is too early to state whether any transaction may occur."

Should BT manage to nab EE (the UK's largest mobile operator in terms of both spectrum and customer base), it'd hold something close to a telecoms monopoly in the UK, what with it's stranglehold over fixed-line services and broadband packages. It'll have to jump through some hoops with Ofcom and the European Commision, which may swing the deal in O2's favour. [Orange]