Telefónica boss won't rule out O2 sale in UK

Telefónica will have to "evaluate" its options over the sale of O2 in the UK, if it starts feeling the pressure from rivals bundling their services.

Telefónica: COO José María Álvarez-Pallete López will not rule out O2 sale
Telefónica: COO José María Álvarez-Pallete López will not rule out O2 sale

Chief operating officer José María Álvarez-Pallete López refused to rule out a potential sale of O2 next year, when BT and Virgin continue to push into bundled TV, mobile and broadband services.

BT is also set to make a comeback into the consumer mobile market next year after an absence of a decade, though recent reports suggest this could be delayed until late 2015.

According to a Reuters report, Álvarez-Pallete made the comments in response to a question about a potential sale of O2.

He said: "If the market goes convergent then we will need to evaluate our options.

"In the landscape as it stands today [O2 is] in good shape. But the position taken by BT when and if it launches in mobile will be a key event."

He added: "Virgin and others already have converged offers, but we don’t see a major appetite from consumers. So we’ll see how that evolves."

Vodafone revealed plans this month to take on BT, Sky and Virgin in the bundled services market, with the mobile operator already signing content deals with Sky. EE is also set to launch a set-top box service earlier this year, with O2 yet to enter the market.