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    Sky Joins Three UK in Possible Collaboration or Merger Talks with O2

    This is a discussion on Sky Joins Three UK in Possible Collaboration or Merger Talks with O2 within the Sky Rumour Mill forums, part of the Sky news and announcements category; Sky Joins Three UK in Possible Collaboration or Merger Talks with O2 - ISPreview UK A new report claims that ...

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      Scubbie's Avatar
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      Sky Joins Three UK in Possible Collaboration or Merger Talks with O2

      Sky Joins Three UK in Possible Collaboration or Merger Talks with O2 - ISPreview UK
      A new report claims that Sky (Sky Broadband) has now entered the ring as a possible merger or collaboration partner for Telefonicaís British mobile network operator sibling, O2 UK. The news comes only a day after Three UKís parent, Hutchison Whampoa, said that they were also still in talks over a possible £9bn acquisition of O2.

      According to the FT (paywall), several people familiar with the situation claim that Sky has been in discussions with Telefonica since ďlate 2014ď, which was also when Three UK and BT were still taking part in similar talks with both EE and O2. Since then BT has of course entered a period of exclusive negotiation with EE (here) and that effectively leaves O2 as the only option.

      O2 UK has been left particularly vulnerable by the debts of its parent, not to mention giving up on fixed line broadband and phone services (ironically this was sold off to Sky in March 2013), all of which occurred only a year before BT announced its intention to re-enter the consumer mobile market during spring 2015.

      Since then the UK telecoms market has seen a flurry of activity as ISPs and mobile firms slowly morph towards quad-play bundles (convergence). Meanwhile Sky itself has been seeking a mobile solution of its own for some time, although the Pay TV giantís European expansion has left a big debt pile to consider and the FTís sources thus suggest that an offer to buy O2 would be unlikely.

      Instead itís suggested that Sky may be seeking a similar collaboration to the one that they were earlier reported to have been seeking with Vodafone, which most recently resulted in Sky inviting 200,000 of their UK phone and broadband customers to trial a new Vodafone-based Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service (here).

      But clearly Sky are keen to keep their options open and have thus pursued talks with O2 around a similar arrangement, which we think could continue even if Three UK gobbled the operator. Three UK doesnít currently have a competing fixed line business and would thus be less of a threat to Sky if they acquired O2.

      In the meantime Sky continues to lack a clear mobile proposition, although theyíve clearly developed something with Vodafone. At the same time Sky will no doubt be mindful of the changing dynamic now that Vodafone, in an effort to fend off against BT, will soon be competing with them on fixed line broadband and phone products too. Complicated, isnít it.
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      Re: Sky Joins Three UK in Possible Collaboration or Merger Talks with O2

      Does any one in the know have any more news or rumour about Sky's proposed venture into the Mobile Network market next year? Just asking as I'm thinking about a new phone.

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      Re: Sky Joins Three UK in Possible Collaboration or Merger Talks with O2

      It won't happen until probably early 2016.

      You could take a 'Sim only' deal if you really want to wait until then, and keep your existing phone for the present time.

      Of course at this time no one can say what the Sky packages & deals will look like. Also as O2 has been bought by Three (Sky signed with O2) will you be using 3G where O2 doesn't have 4G or will you use Three's 4G where that's available instead?

      There are lots of questions which forum members will hopefully have answers for when its all finally happening, but for now everyone at Three, O2, Telefonica and Sky are keeping quiet.
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