BT share price: Rivals to use EE’s past demands to influence watchdog review

on Mar 9, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

A group of BT Group Plc (LON:BT.A) rivals, including Vodafone Group Plc (LON:VOD)and Sky Plc (LON:SKY), plan to use EE’s former stance of stricter restrictions on BT’s wholesale operations to influence the regulator as it reviews the £12.5-billion deal for the UK’s largest mobile carrier, according to a report by The Times. This follows last week’s request by the competition and markets authority for preliminary comments on the merger.

Are you looking for signals & alerts from pro-traders? Sign-up to Invezz Signals™ for FREE. Takes 2 mins.

While the takeover is poised to bring EE under BT’s wing, the two companies haven’t always been on the same side. In fact, until not too long ago EE was a part of a lobby group called the Passive Access Group, alongside Vodafone, Sky, TalkTalk, Three UK and Colt. As noted by The Times, the group submitted a proposal to Ofcom on January 19 calling on the regulator to impose stricter obligations on BT. Two weeks later BT finalised its acquisition of EE and the mobile carrier resigned from the group soon after that.

“Having said for four years that BT is dominant, that it doesn’t meet the needs of operators and that it has an incentive to discriminate, EE appears to have had a Damascene conversion,” The Times on Saturday quoted an unnamed industry source as saying.
BT’s rivals fear that the combination of the UK’s dominant broadband operator and the country’s largest network would give BT an unfair advantage, allowing it to charge higher wholesale fees for the use of its fibre network. “BT can keep those prices high as it can charge EE ‘wooden dollars’ and real money for everyone else,” a rival told The Times.

In today’s trading, BT shares were one percent down at 454.60p, as of 14:17 UTC, trimming its year-to-date advance to 13.3 percent. The company’s market capitalisation currently stands at just over £37 billion.
According to the Financial Times, the 18 analysts offering 12 month price targets for BT have a median target of 480.00p, with a high estimate of 615.00p and a low estimate of 355.00p.As of March 07, 2015, the consensus forecast amongst 23 polled investment analysts covering BT has it that the company will outperform the market. This stance has been maintained since the sentiment of investment analysts improved on November 05, 2013, the FT notes.
As of 15:48 GMT, Monday, 09 March, BT Group plc share price is 453.90p.


Want easy-to-follow crypto, forex & stock trading signals? Make trading simple by copying our team of pro-traders. Consistent results. Sign-up today at Invezz Signals.

Learn more
Services Stock Market Tech