The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority finally approved the merger between mobile phone operators Virgin Media and O2 after it being under review for months. The deal will create a $44 billion broadband and cell phone giant.
Together, the new company will have 46 million video, broadband, and mobile subscribers. Virgin Media and O2 are currently owned by Liberty Global and Telefónica respectively, and the two companies are hoping the combined entity will be able to compete with BT, the current market leader.
However, the new entity will still fall significantly short of BT’s scale. It is expected to generate $14.2 billion in annual revenue after the merger, far less than BT’s, which eclipses $32 billion.
Now that the deal has finally been approved, it does help to clear up the path for Telefónica who is attempting to lighten its debt burden so it can make the necessary investments to develop its 5g strategy.