T-Mobile UK under pressure to sell or merge

Deutsche Telekom is under pressure from key shareholders to either sell or merge its UK business, T-Mobile, with a rival company.

Its finance chief, Timotheus Hoettges, said yesterday at the company’s annual general meeting (April 30) that it may report writedowns of around 1.8bn euros (£bn) for its mobile operation in Britain when it reports first-quarter results next week.

“The British market is highly competitive and has comparably low margins,” he says.

“In our view consolidation is a means to take excess capabilities out of the market. Nothing is unthinkable on our side.”

T-Mobile is the fourth largest player in the telecoms market. One merger option could be with Hutchison Whampoa’s 3, currently the fifth largest player in the UK market.

The news follows the launch last night of T-Mobile’s sing along stunt at Trafalgar Square, where 13,000 people broke into song in a mass karaoke session and included US singer Pink.

It was filmed by Saatchi & Saatchi to create an ad which will launch on YouTube and on TV during ITV1 show Britain’s Got Talent tomorrow (May 2).

The campaign follows T-Mobile’s “Dance” ad launched earlier this year when 350 dancers broke into a mass dance routine at Liverpool street station. It was also filmed and posted on YouTube and made into ads.

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