May 30, 2017

BT set to bring EE within consumer group

A full merger of BT's consumer arm with its mobile phone division EE is expected to take place within four years, a move that would create a £10bn integrated mobile, broadband and pay-TV powerhouse, according to the chief executive of the wireless company. BT, which paid £12.5bn for EE last year, has kept the mobile phone company at arm's length from its established consumer business since it began the integration in January 2016. EE has overtaken the BT Consumer unit in revenues and was positioned as the broader company's growth engine at the presentation of group financial results earlier this month. With EE expected to grow further this year, analysts believe a full merger of EE and BT Consumer is inevitable. Paolo Pescatore, an analyst with CCS Insight, said BT "Still needs to make some decisions as to the future viability of managing two competing but significantly overlapping lines of businesses, BT Consumer and EE". The two businesses have until now had limited cross over.

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