OFT green lights BT purchase of PlusNet

BT has announced that it has been given the go-ahead by the Office of Fair Trading for the acquisition of PlusNet. Final approval is now in the hands of PlusNet shareholders.

The UK's largest telecoms company has told PlusNet, one of the country's largest internet service providers, that it plans to retain the PlusNet brand: subscribers will not, at least in name, become BT customers.


As a result, the ISP has set out its objectives for 2007. These include the improvement of customer support, increased broadband capacity, a new email platform with enhanced webmail and "vastly improved" service performance and resilience, new hosting and domain services and the introduction of new "converged" products, such as BT Home Hub, BT Fusion and BT Vision and an improved Voice over IP (PlusTalk) offering.

It says it also plans to begin building a new community-support website which will bring together the discussion forums from its various portals, along with a news site, PlusNet staff blogs and community bookmarks. The site will launch in the spring.

BT made a cash offer of 67m for PlusNet in November of last year which was unanimously accepted by the PlusNet board. PlusNet has just short of 200,000 subscribers while BT's broadband provision subsidiary, BT Retail, is the UK's largest ISP with three million subscribers, according to ISP Review figures.