BT has completed its acquisition of EE, turning it overnight from one of the UK’s newest and smallest mobile operators into its largest.
The company has been offering mobile services under the BT Mobile brand since last year through a wholesale agreement with EE but in 2014 the firm’s managers decided that outright ownership of a network better suited their plans to create a single “indoor-outdoor network” providing constant voice and data connectivity.
After being courted by the owners of EE and rival mobile firm O2, a former subsidiary of BT, the telecoms giant opted to make a bid for EE.
Despite objections from a number of BT and EE’s rivals, competition authorities gave the deal their final blessing earlier this month after concluding it would not reduce consumer choice because BT and EE were only minor players in each other’s core markets.
In line with previous undertakings, EE CEO Olaf Swantee has resigned from his position and has been replaced with immediate effect by Marc Allera.
There’s been speculation that the EE brand will eventually be dropped as BT seeks to use the mobile firm’s 600 high street stores to push its sports and TV offerings and many commentators expect EE’s nascent TV service to be replaced with BT’s YouView-based service.
BT is expected to unveil its full plans for EE and its wider mobile product range next week.