Vodafone reportedly in merger talks with Three UK amid competitive pressure

Vodafone sign

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  • UK mobile consolidation talk is heating up again with Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) in discussions to combine with rival Three UK (OTCPK:CKHUY), according to the Financial Times.
  • That comes as Vodafone faces pressure to simplify from activist investor Cevian Capital, and as Vodafone chief Nick Read this year has given more credence to the idea that European telecoms need to merge for scale.
  • Vodafone is the No. 3 provider by subscribers in the UK, and Three is No. 4 - so, as in the T-Mobile/Sprint merger in the U.S., the combination could allow the company to better compete against the market leaders: Virgin Media O2 (LBTYA) (TEF) and EE (OTCPK:BTGOF).
  • O2 had been linked in potential merger talks with Vodafone before combining last year with Virgin Media into the country's top carrier.

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