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BSkyB buys The Cloud

Alex Scroxton

As predicted earlier this week, media group and ISP BSkyB has added Wi-Fi provider The Cloud to its line-up for an undisclosed sum understood to be under £50m.

The acquisition of The Cloud - which had assets of £17.1m at the end of the last period for which figures are available - gives BSkyB a hold on 5,000 public Wi-Fi locations in the UK. The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Jersey.

The Cloud has contracts with McDonalds, Marriott Hotels and Pret a Manger in the UK, among others.

However BSkyB will face stiff competition in the sector, in particular from rival O2, which stole its thunder with the announcement of a free-to-air Wi-Fi network yesterday.

The announcement came as the firm unveiled its results for the three months to the end of December 2010, showing sales of £1.66bn, up 15% year-on-year, and profit of £179m, up 39%.

It claimed to have added 204,000 broadband customers during the last three months of the year, and said that 24% of customers are now taking TV, broadband and telephony services.


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