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BT agrees deal to buy EE for £12.5 billion

BT will buy EE for approximately £12.5bn (around $19bn), with that sum being paid in cash and stock.

EE is the UK's largest carrier with a reported 24.5 million users, including 7.7m 4G customers, and this acquisition will propel BT into that same spot. British Telecom is hoping that the deal, if it goes through, will allow it to gain a larger slice of the business market.

EE is jointly owned by Deutsche Telekom and Orange and both companies will receive a stake in the newly formed BT if the deal goes through.

However that itself is a big if. With both BT and EE being huge companies and accounting for a large part of their segments in the market, the proposed buyout may raise a number of red flags to UK and EU regulators. And with the proposed acquisition of O2 by Three, competition seems to be lower than ever in the UK wireless market.

The deal is expected to be finalized one way or the other by the end of BT’s financial year, meaning by March 2016.

This article was edited after publication to correct the number of EE's subscribers, and to clarify that the proposed takeover of O2 by Three has not yet been completed.

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