Bakers, Freshfields and Linklaters ring in on Three’s O2 deal

When BT opted to announce a £12.5bn industry-shaking marriage with EE, it looked as if its other budding suitor O2 was going to be left by the wayside.

But it didn’t take long for Three’s Hong Kong-based owner Hutchison Whampoa to step into the fray, whisking Telefónica’s O2 off its feet with a £10.25bn bid.

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Both deals have provided a flurry of work for their lawyers, with Clifford Chance , Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Norton Rose Fulbright getting the call on the BT/EE transaction.

A raft of players including Baker & McKenzie , Freshfields , Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills have also been lined up to advise on Hutchison Whampoa’s O2 bid.

It looks as if Bakers in particular will be busy on the deal, taking the lead on antitrust aspects as Hutchison Whampoa’s owner and Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing tries to convince regulators that the move isn’t anti-competitive.

Meanwhile, Reed Smith has advised Sky on its agreement with O2’s owner Telefónica, which plans to launch its very own mobile phone network service in the UK next year.

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