If O2 were to merge with Three in the planned deal between the operators, it could lead to a forced sale of some of their infrastructure and mobile spectrum. This may, in fact, be required by the industry regulator for the merger to go ahead.
If this does occur, Virgin Media has hinted that they would intend to make a huge push in the mobile market to compete with Three, O2 and their other rivals.
Virgin hinted at their plans during a meeting with some of the UK’s major mobile network operators which took place in Brussels to discuss the repercussions of a merger between Three and O2.
Liberty Global, the parent company of Virgin Media, insinuated that a sell-off of O2 and Three infrastructure would allow them to take a significant push in the mobile market.
It’s a similar decision to the one that was made by Tesco during these discussions in Brussels, whereby the supermarket expressed their intent to buy the remaining half of their network owned by O2.
However, the extent to Virgin’s plans if O2 merge with Three are as of yet unknown. It had, at one time, been exploring its own merger with Vodafone. There is speculation that this could go ahead. They are not the only one either – Sky is also planning to make in-roads into the mobile market.