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Virgin Media and O2 merge in massive deal – here’s what it means for you

In a merger that is worth £31 billion, Virgin Media and O2 will unite to form one of the biggest mobile networks in the world.

Set to complete by June 1, the merger has only now been approved by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) after a long process to ensure that consumers won’t lose out and that both companies aren’t hell-bent on world domination (we assume).

In discussing the approval, Martin Coleman, CMA Panel Inquiry Chair said: “After looking closely at the deal, we are reassured that competition amongst mobile communications providers will remain strong and it is therefore unlikely that the merger would lead to higher prices or lower quality services.”

But what does this all mean to existing customers of either Virgin Media or O2? Well, the obvious benefit is a greater network infrastructure for customers to utilise, offering better coverage across the UK.

One of the biggest selling points of course will be increased access to 5G speeds. While the 5G rollout has begun in the UK, there are still plenty of dark zones across the country, and it’ll be some time before the technology can reach the same level of coverage currently enjoyed by 4G.

As a result of the merger however, Virgin Media and O2 customers will notice a bump in the availability of 5G – perfect if you feel like streaming an entire season of The Sopranos in the middle of a field (no judgement here).

This will no doubt be an infuriating development to folks running EE, which has been running on the platform of having the UK’s largest 5G network for some time.

Don’t be surprised if the merger also leads to these networks offering far more competitive deals in an attempt to poach customers from the competition. After all, both companies will now have a greater pool of resources to draw upon, so keep your eyes peeled for some juicy discounts.

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