Whereas before it was just a rumour, now it's official: Hutchison Whampoa is in talks to buy O2 from Telefonica. The Hong Kong-based company, owner of Three UK, has confirmed that it's entered "exclusive negotiations" to buy its rival's mobile network for £10.25 billion. While the deal is by no means complete, it signals yet another sea change in the UK telecoms industry. BT is already in talks to buy EE for £12.5 billion, which would give it greater influence as a quad-play provider. Meanwhile, if Three and O2 were to join forces, it would give them the biggest mobile subscriber base in the UK, putting further pressure on EE and Vodafone, the latter of which is yet to make such a bold move of its own.
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