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T-Mobile, Orange seal UK JV plan

Source: Reuters - Fri 6th Nov 2009

Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile UK and France Telecom SA's Orange signed an agreement to combine their British units in a joint venture on Thursday, two months after both companies announced the plan.

"Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom have committed themselves to a long-term partnership with this joint venture contract" Telekom's finance chief Timotheus Hoettges said in a statement.

The companies hope to get approval by mid-2010 for the equally owned joint venture that would grab the top spot in the UK with a combined market share of 37 percent, surpassing Vodafone Group Plc and Telefonica SA's O2, which control 27 and 25 percent respectively.

They both have said they would maintain the same brands - Orange and T-Mobile UK - for the next 18 months and then agree with shareholders on the next move.

The two telecom groups have forecast savings of more than 4 billion euros (3.5 billion pounds) through the joint venture.

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