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Vodafone is in talks to buy Tesco's Blinkbox streaming service

Matt Brian, @m4tt
12.01.14
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You'd think that as 2014 draws to a close, all of the major UK mobile operators would be preparing for Christmas sales, not indulging in some festive spending themselves. In the last couple of weeks alone, we've heard that BT and Three owner Hutchison Whampoa are readying bids for EE or O2, while Vodafone has looked elsewhere to extend its reach beyond mobile. Reports suggested Vodafone was looking to extend its agreement with Sky to bundle Now TV boxes with its broadband packages from next year, but it's now reportedly shifted its attention to another of Britain's media services: Blinkbox.

According to The Telegraph, Vodafone is ready to put some of the billions it received from the Verizon buyout to finance the acquisition of Tesco's streaming service. Talks have reportedly progressed to a point where other parties have withdrawn from the bidding, although people with knowledge of the discussions say nothing is yet set it stone. It's no secret that Tesco has been looking to offload its loss-making movie and TV streaming service; newly-appointed CEO Dave Lewis reportedly stated that the business was a distraction, so he asked staff to either find a buyer or shut it down. However, it could be a good fit for Vodafone, as it looks to further incentivise customers when it launches its new broadband service next year. With EE, BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk all offering (or readying) quad-play packages, the carrier will definitely need something to call its own.

Source: The Telegraph
In this article: hdpostcross, uk-feature
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