The end of the networking year was categorised by several mega-mergers. The City was shocked by the surprise announcement that Richard Branson had engineered what some analysts have deemed a reverse take over to merge Virgin Mobile with UK cable giant NTL.
The deal is far from done and dusted, though. As it stands at the moment Virgin has rejected NTL's courtship because £817m not enough, the virtual mobile operator's board has told the cable operator.
This proposed merger, takeover or reverse takeover came after NTL agreed earlier in the year to merge with the UK's only other significantly sized cable company, Telewest.
NTL's purcahse of Telewest for $6bn makes NTL a credible rival to BSkyB. NTL chief executive Simon Duffy will lead the combined company, which provides the triple play of TV, voice and broadband data.
Easynet is one of BT's main rivals in the provision of broadband services and would give BSkyB the opportunity to match BT and NTL/Telewest in the provision of such services.
The move would strengthen the view that the three operators are likely to dominate the future market for so-called triple-play services comprising TV, broadband and telephony.
The other major acquisition standing out in all of this suddenly reinvigorated corporate M&A activity at the end of the year is the announcement that Carphone Wa rehouse is to buy OneTel, the telecoms unit of Centrica, the energy giant that runs British Gas.
The deal sees OneTel swallowed up for $272m in cash and will create a major rival to BT in the fixed line telephony sector.
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