It’s official. After months of talk and lots of rumours, BT has announced that they are going to buy EE for £12.5 billion. In an announcement, BT said it intends to provide customers with “innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband with wi-fi and advanced mobile capabilities.” What this actually means is that BT now has a profitable way of up selling mobile products. Great news for BT, but how this will impact consumers and the market remains to be seen.
Quite frankly, this buyout stinks.
Sorry if it sounds like I’m against this buyout, but I am. I have already written about how BT buying EE would be a disaster for consumers (in a nutshell, both companies have appalling customer service records) but there’s also another reason I’m concerned: They are now the largest provider of home internet, mobiles and landlines in the UK by a significant margin.
That’s not healthy competition. And quite frankly, this buyout stinks.
The buyout means that BT/EE is more than double the size of the nearest competitor; Vodafone, Three and O2 all pail in comparison. The only glimmer of hope for these competitors is that The Competition and Markets Authority will scrutinise the deal until the end of the year and until that process is complete, BT and EE will continue to operate as seperate companies.
The likelihood though is that they (BT and EE) have done everything by the book and this sale will go through. Here’s hoping that the end user is not adversely affected.
Further reading: How does BT’s purchase of EE affect me? (Guardian).