It's official: Three is forking out £10.25bn to snap up O2

The unlimited data network looks set to become the biggest in the UK
It's official: Three is forking out £10.25 billion to snap up O2

The rumours were true, and now it's official. Three is buying O2 for a hefty £10.25billion.

Well, if you want to get technical, Three's serving up an initial £9.25billion in cash, while the remaining £1billion will be deferred. Once the deal goes through, Three will become the largest operator in the UK, jumping from 7.5 million customers to 31.5 million, edging out ahead of EE and Vodafone with a 41% market share.

Big numbers aside, it's not yet clear what the merger will mean for existing Three and O2 customers.

Three has long been favoured by travellers and video streamers for its truly unlimited data and Feel at Home roaming services, and existing customers will hope they'll now be able to take advantage of increased and improved coverage. 

Three's iPhone customers will also be anxious to see if they'll now be able to use iOS' visual voicemail feature as those on O2 already can. Alright, so we can't speak for all of Three's iPhone customers, but it's certainly been a source of annoyance to some of us in the Stuff office.   

Anyway, stay tuned for more news about the deal, as and when we get it.

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[hutchinson-whampoa, The Guardian]