A merger between Virgin Media and O2 will create more than 4,000 jobs in the UK if the deal is approved, according to the parent companies of both firms.
Liberty Global and Telefonica – the owners of Virgin Media and O2 respectively – announced plans for the mega-merger worth £31 billion in May.
It will bring together O2’s 34 million customers on its mobile network with Virgin’s 5.3 million broadband, pay-TV and mobile users, setting up a major rival for BT and its mobile network EE.
Both businesses have pledged to not only bring new jobs to the UK but also create 1,000 new apprenticeships for young people.
The pair have already said they will invest £10 billion in the UK over the next five years.
“We want to create a national connectivity champion for the UK which can support the country in its digital-led recovery, by investing in the infrastructure the country needs and promoting jobs and apprenticeships to improve the digital skills base,” said Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, chief executive of Telefonica, and Mike Fries, chief executive of Liberty Global, in a joint statement.
“We want to create the leading fixed and mobile competitor in the market, supporting consumers, businesses and society, and this announcement demonstrates our confidence in the long-term potential of the UK’s digital economy.”
The tie-up is expected to close in the middle of 2021 subject to regulatory approvals.