The merger between UK operators Virgin Media and O2 has officially been completed, following recent regulatory approvals in the country.
The new Virgin Media O2 is one of the U.K.’s largest operators with 47 million connections including broadband, mobile, TV and fixed lines.
The new business employs around 18,000 people and reported equivalent revenue of £11 billion ($15.6 billion) last year.
Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2, said: “With the fastest broadband and most reliable mobile network in the UK today, Virgin Media O2 is the complete package.
“We are ready to shake up the market and be the competitor the country needs at a time when choice has never been more important. Through investment and innovation in cutting-edge infrastructure and future technology, we will connect more people to the things they love, support communities across the country, help businesses to grow, and power the UK economy,” the executive said.
The company has committed to invest at least £10bn over the next 5 years in the U.K. Also, the new joint business says it will have created almost 2,000 new U.K. roles by the end of this year.
Last month, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to allow the proposed merger between mobile operator O2, owned by Spanish telco Telefonica, and fixed operator Virgin Media.
Both Virgin and O2 sell wholesale services to a number of mobile operators in the U.K. Virgin supplies wholesale leased lines to mobile operators and O2 provides its mobile network to companies that do not have their own.
The CMA was initially concerned that, following the merger, Virgin and O2 could raise prices or reduce the quality of these wholesale services. If this were to happen, it could lead to other companies being forced to offer lower quality mobile services or increase their retail prices which would negatively impact consumers.
Having examined the evidence, the CMA has concluded that the proposed merger is unlikely to lead to any substantial lessening of competition in relation to the supply of wholesale services.
Liberty Global and Telefonica had reached an agreement to merge their U.K. operations in a 50-50 joint venture in May last year.