May 7, 2020 - Economy

Mega-merger reshapes British telecom industry

Virgin Media store front

Photo: Tolga Akmen / AFP/Getty Images

Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA) agreed to merge its Virgin Media broadband provider with Telefonica's (Madrid: TEF) O2 wireless carrier in a deal that would value the combined company at around $38 billion.

Why it matters: It's the largest U.K. telecoms deal in years, and creates a viable rival to market leader BT.

The bottom line: "The deal will reshape the British telecoms sector by uniting the country’s second-largest broadband network with the largest mobile network, which has 26m direct customers and 34m non-direct clients, via brands such as Tesco Mobile and business users. It will also force rivals Vodafone, Sky, Three and TalkTalk to compete with two much larger telecoms companies." — The Financial Times

Go deeper: Global merger and acquisition activity decreased in 2019

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