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Three to acquire O2 UK.

An agreement has been reached between Three and Telefónica, tentatively securing the future of O2 UK.

Three have entered into an agreement with Spanish-owned Telefónica to buy O2 UK. The move is worth £9.25bn and will create the largest mobile operator in the UK – with almost 33 million customers – lending Three the financial strength to drive competition. The combined businesses will give Three and O2 the scale to deliver better network coverage and overall quality of service.

Commenting on the deal David Dyson, CEO of Three said: “Three’s leadership in mobile data together with O2’s strength on network coverage is a great combination that will bring very real benefits to businesses and consumers throughout the UK. The highly complementary network assets will deliver market leading coverage and capacity for talk, text and data and will be well placed to satisfy rapidly growing demand.”

Completion of the deal is likely to happen in 2016, and currently remains subject to approval by an EU competition regulatory approval investigation, as it would shrink the number of operators currently in the UK from four to three.