Orange and T-Mobile to merge - deals or no deals for consumers?
Well, that was quick. From planning on a joint venture yesterday to announcing it as a done deal today; Orange and T-Mobile are to merge their British operations to create the UK's largest mobile carrier. This new beast will rule over 28 million customers, around 37 per cent of the total mobile market. No, we don't know if it means you can cancel your Orange contract. Stop asking.
The new super duper company will cost between £400 million and £600 million to create (most of which will no doubt be pissed up the wall paying for a new logo and rebranding campaign starring Bruce Willis), but will in return deliver savings of around £500 million per year within five years. That's potentially good news for customers, less so for the staff made redundant and other "efficiencies" that are found in the joint operation.
There's still the likelihood of the Competition Commission investigating so it may not happen at all, but it'll be interesting to see how the current biggest player, O2, respond to the threat. Orange has traded on past glories for years, while T-Mobile has never established a solid proposition in the UK. They'll need some fresh thinking and new ideas for consumers if they're going to capitalise on their venture.