BSkyB has agreed to purchase Telefónica UK's broadband and landline telephone services. That means the internet and fixed-line offerings from O2 and Be will be absorbed into Sky's current services.
The company claims when the acquisition goes through, it will become the second-biggest broadband provider in the UK, after BT. It will replace Virgin Media in that position, which is also currently in an acquisition process - being bought by US firm Liberty Global. Sky will have 4.7 million customers, Virgin Media 4.5 million.
O2 and Be subscribers - which amount to more than 500,000 - will become Sky customers after the sale. Sky will pay £180 million for the broadband and landline business, with up to a further £20 million as an contingent amount to be payable after the successful migration of the customer base.
The customers will be given existing Sky packages, although whether that is on a like-for-like or promotional basis is yet to be determined.
"We believe that the O2 and Be consumer broadband and telephony business is a great fit, with customers used to high-quality products and strong levels of customer service," said Jeremy Darroch, Sky's chief executive. "We look forward to welcoming these new customers to Sky and giving them access to our wide range of high-quality products, great value and industry-leading customer service."
Telefónica UK plans to concentrate more in the future on its 4G services in the country after winning considerable amounts of 4G spectrum in the recent Ofcom auction.
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