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Vodafone and 3 to merge... in Australia

Will 3's merger with Vodafone signal change in the UK?
Will 3's merger with Vodafone signal change in the UK?

Mobile network operators Vodafone and Hutchinson Telecommunications (owners of 3) have agreed a merger in Australia.

Each will now take 50 per cent of a new company, to be known as VHA Ltd, although the company will continue to operate under the globally more expansive Vodafone brand.

Exclusive rights

VHA Ltd will retain the exclusive rights to the 3 brand, which was set up and operated by Hutchinson.

Hutchinson also operates the INQ brand, which recently released the INQ1 'Facebook phone' on

Hutchinson Australia CEO Nigel Dews will head up the new company, with Vodafone's Asia-Pacific & Middle East Region CEO Nick Read coming on board as Chairman.

Although the deal is only for the Australian territories, 3's founding country, the move could spell changes for 3 in other countries as well, with the company the subject of rumour buyout in recent weeks.

TechRadar has contacted both Vodafone and 3 for comment on the situation, and we'll let you know if any moves are afoot.