Vodafone and Three agree major merger to become UK's biggest mobile network worth £15bn

Vodafone and Three announce major deal to merge UK networks in bid to build 5G giant

Vodafone and Three announce major deal to merge UK networks in bid to build 5G giant

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 14/06/2023

- 12:15

Updated: 14/06/2023

- 12:16

The two telecommunications giants will become the single biggest mobile player worth £15billion

Vodafone and Three have announced a major deal to merge the two telecommunications companies.

The combined group will only comprise Vodafone and Three’s UK operations, with the former operating as the majority owner.

Vodafone has 51 per cent of the equity of the merged company.

The deal awaits approval by regulators but could create a group with a total of 27 million mobile customers.

A general view of a Vodafone store in Liverpool

A general view of a Vodafone store in Liverpool


BT-owned EE would miss out on the number one spot, according to customer numbers.

The new company would also leapfrog O2.

However, the Competition and Markets Authority is likely to be concerned that the proposed tie-up will lead to weaker competition.

Margherita Della Valle, chief executive of Vodafone Group, said: “The merger is great for customers, great for the country and great for competition.

Three's logo on a mobile phone

Three's logo on a mobile phone


“It’s transformative as it will create a best-in-class – indeed best-in-Europe – 5G network, offering customers a superior experience.

“As a country, the UK will benefit from the creation of a sustainable, strongly competitive third scaled operator – with a clear £11 billion network investment plan – driving growth, employment and innovation.

“For Vodafone, this transaction is a gamechanger in our home market. This is a vote of confidence in the UK and its ambitions to be a centre for future technology.”

Canning Fok, group co-managing director of Three’s owner CK Hutchison, added: “Today’s announcement is a major milestone for CK Hutchison and for the UK.


Vodafone logo


“Three UK and Vodafone UK currently lack the necessary scale on their own to earn their cost of capital.

“This has long been a challenge for Three UK’s ability to invest and compete.

“Together, we will have the scale needed to deliver a best-in-class 5G network for the UK, transforming mobile services for our customers and opening up new opportunities for businesses across the length and breadth of the UK.”

The announcement comes after Vodafone’s boss revealed the company would cut 11,000 jobs across its markets in a bid to boost the firm’s competitiveness.

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