Today our parent company, CK Hutchison, and Vodafone Group announced an agreement to combine Three UK and Vodafone UK. We believe that the resulting transaction will be great for customers, great for the country and great for competition.
The agreement is still subject to the approval of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and please be reassured that there is no change to customer contracts.
The transaction involves both companies combining our UK businesses, with CK Hutchison owning 49% and our partner Vodafone 51% of the combined business. However, the Board will be made up 50/50 of representatives from both companies so decisions on the newly formed company will be made with equal weighting at Board level.
@Brookhouse ...and at the end of it, Vod will actually own the majority share.
Will they try to merge Voxi & Smarty as they appear to be similar offerings (since Voxi decided that it was not OK to restrict their business to the under 30's)
Reserve my judgement on whether or not that's a good thing.
Indeed, why worry about something in the future, which might never happen anyway should the CMA intervene.
I suspect there'll still be space on the mobile networks for MVNO companies to offer value-for-money contracts / plans.
MergeCo - will it be #LessSMARTY, #MoreMalarkey, or #MoreSMARTY, #LessMalarkey?
Unless radio spectrum is made available for a new 4th network to enter the market, I hope CMA blocks this merger.
This deal will create another EE... and with EE quality also comes EE prices. The problem is that we already have one EE, but after the merger we wouldn't have a replacement for Three. O2, without a cheap competitor and already struggling with so many users, certainly won't drop their prices.
This also affects virtual networks as they depend on the prices charged by the main networks, so I expect their plans to be more like EE MVNO's (1pmobile, plusnet) than like Three MVNOs (Smarty, id mobile, etc). We'll all get less or pay more for the same service.
The equal number of members of the board doesn't mean much. At the end of the day, Vodafone owns 51% of the company and will want to do things their way... a way that put them in their current situation not only in the UK, but also everywhere else in Europe. If only CKH/Three was in charge...
Oh, and redundant positions will be eliminated, so eventually some people will lose their jobs.
Obviously, I cant say for certain, and this network isnt responding to questions on the subject, but anyway :
There is an American MVNO called "US Mobile", a few months ago, they became the main sponsor of Barnsley Football Club, the League One EFL club, with a massive logo front and centre on the player's shirts.
Unless they do actually plan to launch here in the UK, I cant see why a New York headquarted American MVNO would sponsor a Yorkshire based English football club, even more so when sponsorship opportunites in the various sports leagues in the USA would be more numerous.
I can, it's called 'an additional market', American companies have already started building hotels in Scotland, I kid you not is simply about a making more money, around the world, why does Trump have a golf course in a quiet area of the place, because it's about getting your name out there, and making more money...simply!
Two years ago getting unlimited data on a mobile was extortianate now its 20 quid, in 18 months I cant see anyone charging more than 15 quid and soon its gonna be like minutes and texts, after all once the infrastucture is there its just bits so its gonna be basically free, joining with vodafone just gets us better connectivity for free so I am all for this
I really hope this doesn't happen. As I believe vodafone will either close down Smarty, or at least get rid of the free calls/texts part of it, and also get rid of the unlimited data plan. I might be wrong, but I can't see vodafone keeping something going that ends up costing them money.
@vista They already run a similar outfit called Voxi, but they are not as cheap as Smarty. When they started Voxi, they tried to limit it to the under 30’s. I think a number of people, including me, questioned the legality of that and it was dropped. Impossible to say what may happen. The Competition and Markets Authority will doubtless take an interest in this.
@vista As @MSF says, Vodafone already run a similar service to Smarty called Voxi, although you don't tend to get quite as much for your money with Voxi as you do with Smarty.. the main downside for me is that Voxi scrapped their inclusive EU roaming.
You could well be right that if the Vodafone/Three merger does get the go-ahead, one of these two budget brands might go. But I think that could be years off.
I very much doubt unlimited calls and texts would go.. I think people (particularly younger people) are much more likely to be using over-the-top services like WhatsApp, iMessage and Facetime (i.e. data) than traditional phone calls and SMS, hence the networks can offer these unlimited, safe in the knowledge that many customers will barely use them.
One could hope that this merger brings the best technology from both networks together and strengthen their 4G and 5G capabilities - remains to see what that means for the customer and their prices to be honest. Maybe this can allow Three to differentiate in future against competition and innovation from other networks as the comms space is always evolving.
When I 1st got a mobile I started on VF & stayed a long time but then I went on Giffgaff, great deal cept the signal strength was sporadic though it reaches a good few areas Smarty can't do, this merger will get 3 that extra coverage. I did try voxi for a bit but didn't last, anything VF imo is rubbish end of. The only thing I'm excited about is the coverage/signal strength-speed other than that, other than that, couldn't really care...cept for what's gonna happen with the £’s..