Belfast Telegraph

Three UK buying telecoms rival UK Broadband in £300m deal

Mobile operator Three UK is snapping up smaller telecoms rival UK Broadband in a £300 million deal, nearly a year after its parent company was blocked from buying O2.

The company behind wireless broadband operator Relish will become a fully owned subsidiary of Three UK, which is set to pay £250 million in cash as part of the deal.

It will make a further £50 million available as credit towards a mobile virtual network operator agreement on Three's network.

Reports emerged last autumn suggesting UK Broadband was holding talks for a national agreement with some of Britain's mobile operators in hopes of expanding its network.

Three UK chief executive Dave Dyson said: "UK Broadband gives us an opportunity to expand our ambition to provide high-quality and great value internet connectivity for UK consumers."

It comes months after the European Commission formally blocked Three's parent company CK Hutchison Holdings from a £10.3 billion takeover of O2.

Hutchinson is run by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.

EU antitrust regulators argued that the deal would have meant higher prices and less choice for UK consumers.

Three UK carries around 35% of the UK's mobile data traffic and employs 5,000 staff across the country.