O2 or EE? BT looks like its made up its mind

BT is about to pounce and snap up network operator O2, and the telecoms giant is expected to make an announcement before the week is out.

The story of BT’s hunt for an operator to enable the firm to have its own-brand mobile network has been running for a while now, with BT reported to have been in talks with both EE and O2.

But now it seems that O2 has been settled on as the preferred buyout, at least according to a report in the Daily Mail, with inside sources familiar with the negotiations stating that an O2 agreement will be announced imminently.

This isn’t too surprising, given that as we’ve previously reported, industry experts have argued that O2 would be a better option for BT.

EE might be bigger, and have the more expansive 4G network, but those experts argue that it would be a more complex acquisition – possibly provoking too much attention from regulators concerned about a potential telecoms monopoly.

And, of course, BT has owned O2 before, so as Steve Clayton, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, put it, the network would be a “more natural asset to own”. It seems that overall, while EE might be the best option in terms of pure gains, O2 is the safest option.

At any rate, we’ll know soon enough if this is indeed BT’s plan, so stay tuned for an announcement which might come tomorrow.