The deal is expected to be finalised in June next year
Liberty Global and Telefonica has confirmed the Virgin Media and O2 merger will go ahead.
The deal is expected to close by June next year with the 50:50 joint venture poised to create £31.4bn rival to BT and Vodafone.
The merger will combine Virgin Media’s giga-ready broadband network, together with O2’s 5G.network.
It will create a nationwide integrated communications provider with over 46 million video, broadband and mobile subscribers and £11 billion of revenue.
A joint statement said: “U.K. consumers will enjoy the highest-quality customer experience possible, with superior connectivity and entertainment both inside and outside the home. As a fully converged provider, the JV will provide more competition in the marketplace and choice for consumers. JV will become a leading challenger in the B2B space as the combination will accelerate the adoption of converged fixed-mobile services to Virgin Media’s and O2’s existing business customers and offer new services using both companies’ digital skills, networks and product portfolios, such as cloud, big data, Internet of Things and cybersecurity services. This will ensure sustainable competition in the small, medium and large business segments across the U.K, which will benefit the overall British economy.”
Liberty Global chief executive officer Mike Fries said: “We couldn’t be more excited about this combination. Virgin Media has redefined broadband and entertainment in the U.K. with lightning fast speeds and the most innovative video platform. And O2 is widely recognised as the most reliable and admired mobile operator in the U.K always putting the customer first.
“With Virgin Media and O2 together, the future of convergence is here today. We’ve seen the benefit of FMC first-hand in Belgium and the Netherlands. When the power of 5G meets 1 gig broadband, U.K. consumers and businesses will never look back. We’re committed to this market and are right behind the Government’s digital and connectivity goals.”
Telefonica Chief Executive Officer Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete added: “Combining O2’s number one mobile business with Virgin Media’s superfast broadband network and entertainment services will be a game-changer in the U.K., at a time when demand for connectivity has never been greater or more critical.
“We are creating a strong competitor with significant scale and financial strength to invest in UK digital infrastructure and give millions of consumer, business and public sector customers more choice and value. This is a proud and exciting moment for our organisations, as we create a leading integrated communications provider in the U.K.”