The combined entity of Orange and T-Mobile has been named Everything Everywhere, but the two brands will remain autonomous
The mobile phone giant formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile UK, has been given a name: “Everything Everywhere”.
The company’s chief executive, Tom Alexander, confirmed that the Orange and T-Mobile brands would continue to operate independently, as both had “personalities” that he hoped to retain. He explained that the Orange brand had a “premium element”, while T-Mobile had a “straightforward, value-orientated appeal”.
However, Alexander said the group wanted to convey the message that its customers could “access the world – for entertainment, education, information – wherever they are, whenever they want,” hence the renaming of the parent organisation.
“Together, we are Britain’s biggest communications company, with over 30 million customers,” he said in an obviously carefully-crafted statement. “We are Everything Everywhere – it’s our name, our vision, and our ambition.”
Is merger anti-competitive?
The merger between Orange and T-Mobile, confirmed in November 2009, gives the two companies a total UK market share of 37 percent. It was given the green light in February, after France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom offered to sell off part of their combined radio spectrum in exchange of EC approval of the deal.
Both parents said they were prepared to relinquish up to 25 percent of the spectrum they held at the 1800 MHz bandwidth – which is capable of supporting 4G wireless technology. According to reports in The Wall Street Journal, they also offered some concessions over network sharing to 3 – the UK’s smallest operator.
However, this arrangement still left the Orange/T-Mobile entity with the bulk of the 1800 MHz spectrum, giving it a significant advantage over UK other networks. The Communications Consumer Panel expressed its concern about the merger at the beginning of March, but urged the companies to proceed with minimum disruption and confusion for their customers.
“UK consumers have up to now benefited from the choice, innovation and low prices that result from a competitive mobile market and we want to see this continue,” said panel chair Anna Bradley at the time. “There may be advantages to clearing the merger at this early stage, but it also carries risks for consumers.”
According to the BBC, the merger is expected to lead to cost savings of about £3.5 billion, largely from sharing mobile phone masts. There will also be back-office job cuts, the company reports.