The City roundup video: BT and Vodafone seek fourplay

Video: Jim Armitage provides a run-down of the day's major news from the City

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The Independent Online

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Well, fourplay is all the talk in the telecoms industry today. Now, when the likes of BT and Vodafone executives talk about fourplay, they're not referring to anything saucy. No, they mean the holy grail of providing telephone, broadband, TV and mobile to householders like you and me in one big package.

The thinking is, as the boundaries between telly and internet have blurred, people are more likely to set up their whole communications world with one supplier. And if you can be that supplier, you can make mega bucks.

Today, BT confirmed it was in talks to buy either the mobile business o2 or EE in deals that would be worth about £10bn apiece.

Why? Because, while BT can provide three of the four legs of fourplay – TV content, broadband and fixed line phones – it doesn’t have a decent mobile service.

Battle lines are being drawn, and the future of our communications world is up for grabs.

Elsewhere, the insurance giant Aviva’s shares plunged nearly 5% as investors got their first chance to trade since Friday night’s deal to buy its rival Friends Life. Reports this morning suggested 2000 jobs could go. However, given the changes to pension provision in the last budget, I’m afraid companies like Friends were inevitably going to be looking to cut costs.

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