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Virgin Media and O2 confirm £31bn mega-merger

The two firms had confirmed on Monday that they were in discussions over a possible combination.

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O2 is the UK’s largest mobile company with around 34 million users (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

O2 is the UK’s largest mobile company with around 34 million users (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

PA

O2 is the UK’s largest mobile company with around 34 million users (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Virgin Media and O2 are to merge to create a £31 billion media and telecoms giant, their parent firms have announced.

The two firms had confirmed on Monday that they were in discussions over a possible combination.

Mike Fries, chief executive officer of Virgin Media owner Liberty Global, said: “We couldn’t be more excited about this combination.

“Virgin Media has redefined broadband and entertainment in the UK with lightning-fast speeds and the most innovative video platform. And O2 is widely recognised as the most reliable and admired mobile operator in the UK, always putting the customer first.”

Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, chief executive of O2 owner Telefonica, said: “Combining O2’s number one mobile business with Virgin Media’s superfast broadband network and entertainment services will be a game-changer in the UK, at a time when demand for connectivity has never been greater or more critical.

“We are creating a strong competitor with significant scale and financial strength to invest in UK digital infrastructure and give millions of consumer, business and public sector customers more choice and value.”

PA Media