BT insists 'EE brand to be retained' as it divides business into six units... and more

EE: BT insists it will keep the EE brand following takeover
EE: BT insists it will keep the EE brand following takeover

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BT insists EE brand will be retained

BT is restructuring its business into six constituent parts, creating two consumer-facing units in the forms of EE and BT Consumer, with the former remaining a prominent presence on UK high streets.

In an announcement this morning (1 February), BT stressed that it is retaining the EE brand, while BT Consumer will serve 10m households with phone, broadband and TV services.

The decision to keep EE appears to counter speculation that BT would drop the brand, although companies that acquire well-known consumer brands tend to retain them for a period, before ultimately subsuming them into the mother brand.

BT said that EE will focus largely on the consumer market, "retaining its brand, its network and hundreds of high street stores", while BT Consumer will "continue to serve ten million households with a mix of superfast broadband, telephony, TV and mobile services".

Marc Allera will be retained as EE’s chief executive, and John Petter will remain as BT Consumer’s CEO.

The telecoms group, which yesterday (31 January) reported third quarter (ending 31 December) net profit of £862m (up nearly 25%) and revenues up 3%, said that two units would serve consumers, two would be focused on business and the public sector, while the remaining two would provide wholesale services to industry rivals.

The latter pair would include BT Openreach, which is currently subject to regulatory scrutiny over whether it should be hived off. BT is purposely distancing the unit from the rest of the business as it is responsible for allowing rival telecoms and broadband groups access to BT’s infrastructure.

Source: BT

Lidl bananas to be 100% sustainable by year end

Lidl will ensure that 100% of its bananas will be bought from sustainable sources by the end of 2016.

The German discounter, which is following a similar move by Asda, said that all supplies will be from Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade Foundation certified sources, split 88% and 12% respectively.

The announcement by Lidl builds on its decision to source all its coffee products from Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade approved farms by 2017.

Jon Covey, Lidl UK’s head of fresh produce buying, said: "It is central to Lidl UK’s corporate social responsibility policies that the business always acts in an environmentally friendly and socially conscious way.

"This move is yet another milestone in Lidl UK’s ambition to provide its customers with sustainably sourced produce. We are extremely pleased to make this commitment to sourcing our bananas."

Source: The Guardian

Sky backs Hutchison’s £10.25bn bid for O2

Sky has supported Hutchison’s £10.25bn plan to merge Three with O2, stating that such a move would be a "good thing for all MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators)".

The European Commission is due tomorrow to issue Three-owner Hutchison with a list of formal objections, which makes Sky’s comments all the more revealing.

Sky is due to enter the mobile market this year and plans to uses the O2 network.

Mai Fyfield, Sky’s chief strategy officer, said: "We do think that Three’s ownership would be a good thing for all MVNOs sitting on the network in the sense of continued investment in that network.
"It’s important that it’s a good network.

"And I think under Three’s ownership we would me more confident that the direction of OI2 would be clear. If it’s blocked there is going to be a question over what happened to Telefonica. They don’t’ look like they are interested in being a long term owner."

Source: The Telegraph

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If you watch one video today...

Rather than a video, this week we're pointing you towards our new podcast. Listen to the fifth episode below and find out more here.

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