EE Purchased by BT – What now?
The day has finally arrived. After announcing their intentions to purchase the UK’s biggest mobile operator EE way back in February of 2015, BT then had to jump through all the regulatory hoops that keep our telecoms industry in balance. That process took almost a year, with regulators investigating what a potential BT/EE merger would do the telecommunications industry.
They noted that whilst the resulting company would be gigantic, it wouldn’t decrease the amount of competition on the high street, and therefore was acceptable. So, with EE now firmly within BT’s gigantic hands, we can cast our gaze into the future of the business and see if we can divine what comes next. Now, with all the relevant regulatory bodies signed off on the deal, EE is now a BT company.
Firstly, it’s important to note that for the short term, both the EE and BT brands aren’t going anywhere. BT boss Gavin Patterson has said as much on a recent conference call, where he said: “It is a question for [the deal’s] completion rather than today. We will continue to operate the EE brand certainly in the short term, and will do a detailed assessment of what is the right combination of brands going forward.”
That leaves room for plenty of speculation, but still, it’s clear that this time next week your phone’s EE logo won’t be replaced by a BT one. With that said, the backroom operations of EE are going to change dramatically over the next year. EE boss Olaf Swantee is already out and BT will begin to move their own staff into the organisation post haste. Doubtlessly, the company have identified potentially efficiency savings and will begin to make those as soon as possible.
The purchase of EE also opens up the possibility for BT to compete with the likes of Sky and Virgin Media more directly. BT TV has proven to be a success amongst their own customers and is regularly offered alongside their broadband deals and home phone packages. Now, with EE in hand, they can offer competitive mobile contracts alongside, just like Virgin Media do. Unlike Virgin Media though, BT own the company who supplies then with mobile service, and can therefore offer it at a more competitive price.
On the EE end of things, it’s likely that we see the end of some of their own ventures. Things like EE Broadband & Calls and EE TV will likely see the axe and get replaced by BT’s own services. There is, however, a chance that these will remain EE branded, given much of the public’s animosity towards the BT brand.
One clear benefit for EE customers could be BT Sport. BT have been giving away access to their sport channel with subscriptions to broadband, phone or TV subscriptions, so EE customers might well be in line for free access too. It’s something that would certainly increase viewing numbers, given EE’s user base of over 27 million, and would drive potential customers towards the EE contact telephone number.
Ultimately though, this is all speculation, and with EE now a BT company, we eagerly wait to see what’s in the future for the business.