The BBC are reporting the rumoured merger between Deutsche Telekom’s UK mobile unit T-Mobile and France Telecom’s Orange is on – with the two companies planning to create a ‘super-operator’ by November.
The new combined unit would bring in around £8.2bn worth of sales, and hoover up 37% of the UK market – more than O2’s current lead at 27%. Costs associated with the merger could reach £800m though, but savings are expected to be £445m by 2014.
All of this is, of course, subject to regulatory approval. However, it does leave lots of unanswered questions – for instance what happens with existing joint ventures like T-Mobile’s MVNO with Virgin, and their 3G network sharing deal with 3? Plus there’s the big dark cloud over jobs – how many redundancies will such a merger cause?