ee_shop_seenitBT has defied the expectations of analysts and commentators by announcing that it’s to retain the EE brand following acquisition of the UK’s largest mobile network.

Many marketing and branding experts had expected the brand to vanish and BT to rebadge the almost 600 high street stores bought as part of the deal to help push its broadband and TV services.

However CEO Gavin Patterson today announced that the EE would remain as a consumer brand and compete against both BT and the group’s Plusnet broadband business.

EE will however lose its business division which will become part of a wider Business and Public Sector division.

Its wholesale operations which serve virtual mobile network operators such as Virgin Mobile is to be moved into a new Wholesale and Ventures business alongside BT’s existing wholesale operations.

Group Chief Executive Gavin Patterson said: “I’m delighted we have now completed our acquisition of EE.

“That is great news for our shareholders, our customers and for UK plc given we will continue to invest and innovate. Customers will benefit as we combine the power of fibre broadband with the convenience of mobile.

“We will operate a multi brand strategy with UK customers being able to choose a mix of BT, EE or Plusnet services, depending on which suit them best. The acquisition enables us to offer great value bundles of services and customers are set to be the winners as we compete for their business.”

BT says the changes will take effect from April.