Report: BT to keep EE brand after merger

BT intends to retain the EE brand for its main mobile service once it has completed a £12.5 billion (€16.69 billion/$18 billion) acquisition of the UK mobile operator, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Citing unnamed sources, the paper said BT Mobile -- the brand used for BT's existing mobile services -- would also be retained for low-cost mobile services in future.

In response to questions about the future plans for the brand, a BT spokesman said: "We will have more to say about our plans following the completion of the deal."

Certainly, details of a how a future combined BT/EE will look should start to emerge once the deal has won the final approval of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

It has already been confirmed that Olaf Swantee will step down from his position as CEO of EE once the proposed deal has closed. EE said Marc Allera would take on the CEO role once the mobile operator has become a "new line of business" within the BT group.

Approval of the deal by the CMA is of course not guaranteed, although the regulator has already given provisional clearance. In October last year, the CMA inquiry group in charge of reviewing the planned acquisition said it had extended the deadline for its final report by eight weeks to Jan. 18, 2016 to allow it to consider all responses to the provisional findings.

The provisional approval was an important step in BT's plan to create the UK's biggest converged provider of fixed and mobile telecoms services. The former incumbent agreed in February last year to buy EE from existing owners Orange and Deutsche Telekom.

The BT/EE deal is not the only proposed merger in the UK: CK Hutchison is also hoping to buy O2 UK and merge it with Three UK to create a stronger mobile player. That deal is subject to European Union approval, although the European Commission has signalled it will more thoroughly scrutinise the competitive impact of proposed mergers that reduce the number of mobile operators within a national market from four to three.

For more:
- see this Financial Times article

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