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NTL-Telewest merger finalised

Customers may be hoping that the new-look NTL learns some customer service lessons from Telewest
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

NTL completed its £3.4bn acquisition of Telewest Global on Monday, losing the Telewest name in the process. The combined company will be simply NTL.

Former NTL stockholders now own approximately 75 percent of the combined company with former Telewest stockholders owning the rest.

The combined company will have nearly five million customers, including 2.5 million broadband users. The deal leaves the UK with a single cable operator and the combined company will have more broadband customers than any other ISP.

While both companies are primarily focused on consumers, with their triple-play of telephony, Internet access and digital television, the deal has implications for corporate customers too. Telewest sells telecoms services to businesses and the public sector through its Telewest Business division.

Although the combined company is called NTL, it will offer services under NTL Telewest branding. This may be an attempt to bolster its customer service reputation.

"This combination of two industry leaders positions us to better fulfil our commitment to serve our customers," said Jim Mooney, chairman of NTL, in a statement. "We are grateful for the strong support for this merger demonstrated by stockholders, customers, employees and the communities we serve."

NTL and Telewest have predicted that the merger will allow them to save around £250m a year by 2008 and generate added value of £1.5bn, which could help the company to cut its prices.

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