After unsuccessful attempts to renegotiate its the terms of its arrangement with O2, Dixons Carphone is saying goodbye to the mobile operator after 20 years in business together.
Dixons Carphone CEO Alex Baldock has had his eye on shaking up existing deals with O2, EE, and Vodafone since he took the position in 2018, saying that they were "unsustainable" as they were. That doesn't seem to have panned out very well now that O2 is jumping ship, which isn't a great look, given the recent news that all 531 of its standalone UK high street branches closing. However, the company is presenting itself as not being too bothered at all, with a spokesperson stating:
"As part of our strategy we are moving to a new, more flexible and transparent mobile offer that gives better value and choice to our customers. This offer is set to launch later this year.
"While our contract with O2 to sell post-pay has ended, we continue to offer our customers a wide range of choice through our own Mobile Virtual Network Operator, iD Mobile, and partners EE, Vodafone, Virgin Media and Voxi, including those who currently have an O2 connection."
Industry analyst Kester Mann doesn't share the business' optimism however, saying:
"The loss of one of its biggest customers is a huge blow to Carphone Warehouse and now raises questions over the retailer’s relationship with its other partners, including EE, Vodafone and Virgin Media.
"The news comes just days after the embattled retailer announced that it is closing all 531 standalone stores, a decision that cannot have helped the negotiations with O2."
He's not wrong. O2 also piped up on the situation, saying that it "worked hard over the past year to put a number of options on the table," but that none of them aligned with Dixons Carphone's "new strategic direction" or the new type of relationship it wants with mobile operators going forward. The company may be trying to stay upbeat, but losing O2, closing stores, while trying to renegotiate with other network operators isn't going to be perceived like a sign of success, and we may see similar relationship breakdowns with the other partnerships. [TechRadar]