Vodafone eyes T-Mobile UK bid

Tie-up between Vodafone and T-Mobile would create the UK's largest operator with a 40% share of the market

Britain's mobile phone market faces a huge shake-up as Vodafone considers a bid to buy T-Mobile UK, the Financial Times reports today.

A tie-up between Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator by revenue, and T-Mobile UK would create the UK's largest operator if it was to go ahead, with a 40% share of the UK market.

However, Vodafone's bold ambition for the acquisition of T-Mobile, which has an estimated value of between £2.5bn and £3.4bn, may be blocked by the regulators.

JP Morgan was appointed by T-Mobile UK's owner Deutsche Telekom to suggest fresh strategies for the business after years of under-performance.

Last night there was no comment from either Vodafone or T-Mobile, but sources close to the situation said the company was exploring the benefits of making an offer for T-Mobile UK or setting up a joint venture.

O2, which is owned by Spain's Telefónica and is currently the largest UK mobile operator, has a market share of 27%. Vodafone follows shortly behind with 25%, while France Telecom's Orange has a 22% share. T-Mobile claims 15% and Hutchison Whampoa-owned 3 has 8%.

The UK is the only major European market with five mobile operators, with each complaining about profit margins.

Analysts speculate that a deal where one operator owns 40% of the market may be allowed by regulators because of similar situations in France, Italy and Spain.

Terence Sinclair, analyst at Citi, Vodafone's broker, said earlier this month that the possibility of a tie-up between UK operators is more likely now than a year ago.

Contributor

Angela Balakrishnan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Vodafone eyes entry into UK pay-TV

Unified, converged, multiscreen services to be offered, using some of the money raised from sale of Verizon

Juliette Garside, telecoms correspondent

12, Nov, 2013 @6:30 PM

Article image
Demand for mobile data boosts Vodafone revenues
Mobile phone operator reports its first quarterly service revenue growth since the recession

Graeme Wearden

23, Jul, 2010 @8:33 AM

Article image
Vodafone hit by £12bn Indian mobile phone bill
Huge subscriber growth offset by costly price wars, shifting regulatory goalposts and battles with the Indian authorities

Juliette Garside

21, Nov, 2011 @7:42 PM

Article image
Vodafone boss calls for moratorium on mobile phone regulation
Mobile World Congress: On eve of European vote to cut cost of using phone abroad, Vittorio Colao says move would cost jobs

Juliette Garside in Barcelona

27, Feb, 2012 @6:53 PM

Article image
Vodafone fails to hit legal minimum for 3G mobile internet coverage

British-owned operator is only network to miss legal obligation to extend 3G to 90% of UK population, says Ofcom

Juliette Garside, telecoms correspondent

07, Nov, 2013 @1:47 PM

Vodafone mulls over T-Mobile UK takeover bid

T-Mobile UK's German owner, Deutsche Telekom, is said to have approached Vodafone as it tests the waters for interest in the network

Zoe Wood and Richard Wray

29, Jun, 2009 @6:11 PM

Article image
Vodafone shares reach 10-year high
AT&T and Verizon said to be behind rumoured £161bn takeover bid, with latter keen to buy out Vodafone's stake in joint venture

Rupert Neate

02, Apr, 2013 @11:36 PM

Article image
Vodafone fuels acquisition rumours with Verizon talks
Speculation mounts over whether chief executive Vittorio Colao will continue building company or sell up once deal is done

Juliette Garside

30, Aug, 2013 @6:21 PM

Article image
Vodafone launches multimedia offensive
Chief executive Vittorio Colao focuses on mobile internet market and says UK business 'resilient' to public spending cuts

Richard Wachman

09, Nov, 2010 @6:44 PM

Article image
Vodafone has left me stuck between two mobile phones
I wanted my old number ported from Orange, but this failed and now I can’t get the internet

Miles Brignall

15, Jun, 2015 @6:00 AM