Vodafone and Three Merging Networks to Form UK's Largest Mobile Operator

British mobile phone operators Vodafone and Three UK have agreed a deal to merge their UK-based operations, which if approved by regulators will make it the biggest mobile network in the country.

Three and Vodafone Logo Article
Currently the biggest players in the UK mobile market are Virgin Media O2, with around 24 million customers, and EE, which has 20 million users.

Vodafone and Three UK are the third and fourth largest mobile firms, but the merger will give them around 27 million customers, taking their combined market share past Virgin Media O2's.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will now examine the merger, specifically to look at whether it will push up customer prices.

Vodafone and Three claimed the deal will be "great for customers, great for the country, great for competition," but the CMA may not see it that way.

The same competition watchdog in May blocked UK approval for Microsoft's proposed $69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard.

Speaking to the BBC News, Karen Egan, head of mobile at research firm Enders Analysis, said similar deals in other countries had not led to price hikes, but added that "CMA's hawkish approach to mergers of late is not encouraging."

The Unite union, which represents Vodafone and Three workers, disagreed, saying that the deal was "reckless" and would "hike people's bills and mean job losses."

Vodafone has already set out plans to cut 11,000 jobs, with CEO and CFO Margherita Della Valle admitting in May that its "performance has not been good enough." Both companies have since indicated additional job cuts within five years if the merger is approved.

Top Rated Comments

seat_hydrant Avatar
15 weeks ago
They looked at Canadian telecom profits and thought—how about us too!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
laptech Avatar
15 weeks ago
The only things the merger would do is make thousands of employees redundant whilst making directors richer.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
phenste Avatar
15 weeks ago
please, someone, explain to me how megamergers like this (Warner Bros. Discovery, Microsoft/Activision Blizzard…I can see an argument for Sprint/T-Mobile because they both had sucky reception before the merger, but AT&T/Verizon still hold quite the mobile telecom duopoly) are good (edit: "great!") for competition
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saturnine Avatar
15 weeks ago
I don’t see this as a good thing. Less competition is rarely good for the customer, and the cost savings brought about are not passed on.

One of main concerns is how it might affect the MVNOs such as Voxi and Smarty. As they offer some of the cheapest deals in the market, I assume any consolidation of brands will also negatively impact customers.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ilikewhey Avatar
15 weeks ago

please, someone, explain to me how megamergers like this (Warner Bros. Discovery, Microsoft/Activision Blizzard…I can see an argument for Sprint/T-Mobile because they both had sucky reception before the merger, but AT&T/Verizon still hold quite the mobile telecom duopoly) are good (edit: "great!") for competition
its not good for the little guy, more competition means better price for consumer.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
15 weeks ago

I swapped my 5G broadband from Vodafone to EE and got 600Meg down for about a day. Then something went wrong with their local cell tower and I've been regretting it ever since!
Maybe the 5G tower was taken down by people thinking it would stop the spread of Covid ?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iphone se 4 modified flag edges

iPhone SE 4 Details: Action Button, USB-C Port, Face ID, and More

Wednesday September 27, 2023 1:34 pm PDT by
Significant changes are expected to arrive with Apple's fourth-generation iPhone SE, in terms of both design and hardware, MacRumors has learned. The iPhone SE 4, known internally under the codename Ghost, is expected to receive a new design derived almost entirely from the base model iPhone 14. According to our sources, the iPhone SE 4 will use a modified version of the iPhone 14 chassis...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.0.2 and iPadOS 17.0.2 for All iPhones and iPads

Tuesday September 26, 2023 12:47 pm PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.0.2 and iPadOS 17.0.2 updates, with the software coming five days after the releases of iOS 17.0.1 and iPadOS 17.0.1. Today's iOS 17.0.2 and iPadOS 17.0.2 updates arrive as build 21A351 and can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Note that iOS 17.0.2 was previously made available for iPhone...
iOS 17

Everything New in iOS 17.1 Beta 1

Wednesday September 27, 2023 1:57 pm PDT by
Just a week after releasing iOS 17, Apple has seeded the first beta of iOS 17.1 to developers. iOS 17.1 adds some features that Apple promised were coming to iOS 17 in the future, plus it refines and improves some existing features. This guide covers everything new in the first iOS 17.1 beta. Apple Music Favorites You can favorite songs, albums, playlists, and artists in the iOS 17.1...
iPhone 15 Pro lineup

iPhone 15 Pro Overheating Concerns Highlighted in Two More Reports

Thursday September 28, 2023 6:25 am PDT by
iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max overheating concerns continue to make headlines this week, with the topic highlighted by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Both of the reports document anecdotal complaints from customers, and outline potential causes, but it's unclear how many devices are actually affected. Bloomberg said the overheating could be caused or compounded by the iPhone's setup...
iPhone 15 Pro Lineup Feature

Kuo: iPhone 15 Pro Overheating Issues Likely Due to Thermal Compromises, Not 3nm Node

Tuesday September 26, 2023 9:12 am PDT by
Complaints about heat issues with the iPhone 15 Pro models are not related to TSMC's 3-nanometer node that was used for the A17 Pro chip, according to well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that overheating could be caused by "compromises made in the thermal system design" that allowed Apple to cut down on the weight of the iPhone 15 Pro models. Kuo says that the reduced heat...
iPhone 15 USB C Port Keynote

Some USB-C Power Banks Fail to Work With iPhone 15

Thursday September 28, 2023 2:06 pm PDT by
Apple added a USB-C port to the iPhone 15 lineup this year, allowing it to work with USB-C cables, USB-C power banks, and more. It turns out that some USB-C battery packs are not working properly with Apple's iPhone 15, resulting in charging issues. As highlighted on Reddit and the MacRumors forums, not all existing USB-C power banks can be used with the iPhone 15 models, perhaps due to the...
Mac Gaming

Apple Explains How Game Mode Works in macOS Sonoma

Wednesday September 27, 2023 2:24 am PDT by
In macOS Sonoma, Game Mode prioritizes CPU and GPU performance for gaming purposes on Macs. For those unfamiliar with Game Mode, Apple on Tuesday published a support document providing more information on how to use the new feature. Game Mode optimizes your gaming experience by giving your game the highest priority access to your CPU and GPU, lowering usage for background tasks. And it...