That would only benefit Sky. Murdock isn't going to sell Sky.
It's hard to see what assets Liberty Global and Vodafone would exchange.
Rumours of all kinds of talks between Liberty Global, which owns Virgin Media in the UK and Vodafone, have been rumbling for months. Vodafone's now come out and confirmed those rumours are true. Vodafone put out a release this morning saying: Vodafone Group Plc ("Vodafone") notes the recent media speculation regarding a …
Vodafone+Virgin would probably be approved with minimal regulatory issues IF the BT+EE merger goes ahead.
I can't see Sky+Vodafone working as both businesses have significant market share and would lead to regulatory issues regardless of whether BT+EE is allowed.
I think Sky's best bet is to lobby for BT to sell off OpenReach so it is as close to neutral as possible while BT+EE vs Vodafone/Virgin vs Sky fight out the content delivery market for the UK.
The real loser in this is likely to be the TV companies that are already losing market share to other forms of content delivery.
And the consumer - less competition will probably be bad for the consumer as well.
BT+EE+TV = Quad play = dangerous to sky
Sky + O2 = quad play but only to try and cover BT
Oddly Virgin Media don't really feature in this battle between Sky ad BT.
VF risk being marginalised if they don't do something here. They either make a play to partner with sky (their former CW net could be attractive for cheap BB backhaul), or they join the Quad play battle by buying VM.
VF + VM quad play would be the only real challenger to BT's ambitions, but VF + sky would blow BT out of the TV & Mobile markets completely
Couple of things.....
O2 has already agreed to be bought by three so tie up with Sky not likely.
Secondly why would Vodafone and Sky be a BT/EE killer ? BT are already knocking Sky back with its "free" BT sport offer. I have a SIM from BT that for £10 a month gives me free BT sport and free unlimited Wifi. Add to that online streaming and I don't even need freeview or freesat. Top that off with iplayer etc and I have tons of stuff to watch. a few quid for say unblock us and I have all the US channels to watch that sky stuff as well.
Some interesting angles here. Right now, Virgin has the contract to provide backhaul to MBNL, the combined Three+EE network operation, while Vodafone pools stuff with O2 under "Cornerstone" - with BT buying EE and Three buying O2, something there will have to change drastically. Hard to imagine BT continuing to buy in network backhaul from Virgin.
Right now, Virgin resell EE's mobile services: will they or BT be happy to continue that post takeover, or will Virgin be in the market for a new provider for their MVNO?
Vodafone owns both the old Bulldog/C&W LLU network and Demon - so either offloading that to Virgin, or taking over Virgin's leftover non-cable ISP operation to bolster their own size, could make sense.
Sky wouldn't make much sense, though. They just bought O2/Be's LLU network and customers, only to throw both assets in the bin: maybe they could repeat that with Demon/Bulldog, but they've only just started on their mobile reseller deal with O2. Virgin seems a much more sensible match overall.
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