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O2 bought by Three Mobile UK's owner for £10.25 billion

UK Mobile Network Operator O2 is being purchased by Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing for £12.5 billion ($15.4 billion).

Li Ka-shing already owns Three Mobile in the UK through his investment company 'Hutchison Whampoa' and is currently the richest man in Asia (with assets totaling $30 billion according to Forbes).

Li Ka-shing

There is talk of O2 being 'assimilated' into the Three Mobile UK network infrastructure, thus reducing the number of four Mobile Network Operators to three - also being backed up by four wireline broadband providers.

Not everyone is happy with the prospects of the merger however as the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has asked for assurances over the jobs of it's members.CWU and O2

The CWU represents over 3,400 O2 members of staff in it's UK based call centres, engineering works and support roles. Naturally they have expressed concerns over loss of UK jobs once the takeover begins.

Andy Kerr the CWU deputy general secretary has said that the union will be hosting a meeting with O2 CEO Ronan Dunne on February 2nd.

Kerr has stated that, "We hope that any takeover of Telefonica UK will protect UK jobs and maintain service standards for customers," also adding "O2 has been through a great deal of operational change in the last two years with the biggest outsourcing deal in the UK when staff and services were outsourced to Capita."

Back in 2013 O2 struck up a £1.2 billion 10 year strategic partnership deal with Capita for their support services, with the hopes that Capita would manage their (O2's) customer service and support functions.