Prospect warns over BT takeover

2 December 2021

Prospect, a leading union in BT, has called on the Business Secretary to take personal charge of assessing any takeover of the UK’s largest technology and telecoms company.

BT has been subject to persistent speculation in recent days that it could be the target of a takeover attempt by investors including by those overseas. This raises fears over whether UK jobs and research will be safeguarded, particularly if any new owner is motivated by a short term pay out rather than long term returns.

BT employs over 80,000 staff and is the largest private sector tech and R&D investor, spending £720m in 2020-21.

Prospect has written to Kwasi Kwarteng MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to ask him to take personal charge of securing UK jobs and investment.

Read coverage of our letter in The Guardian.

Mike Clancy, Prospect General Secretary said:

“BT is one of the jewels in the crown of UK innovation and tech R&D, despite a tough economic environment.

“Media reports over BTs future ownership will unsettle staff in the run up to Christmas, especially given the amount of change that the company has seen and continues to experience.

“We need a clear focus on protecting both our national interests and jobs while boosting private sector R&D, all of which could be at risk with a controversial takeover.

“The Business Secretary must take personal charge of making sure that any proposed takeover supports growing that investment, not a flight of money and skills overseas.”



Information Technology & Telecoms

Prospect represents more than 16,000 people working in Information Technology and Telecoms – one of the UK’s fastest moving industries.

Union for tech workers

For a better, healthier and fairer tech industry.