EE confirmed Wednesday that it has held "exploratory" discussions over a possible sale of its mobile business to BT Group, which would result in Britain's former national operator regaining a mobile network.
Earlier this week, BT announced it had been approached by shareholders from two operators -- Spanish peer Telefonica and one other unnamed group -- with a view to buying their UK mobile businesses.
The other company was however understood to have been EE, which is a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom of Germany and Orange of France.
"Deutsche Telekom AG and Orange SA, the joint shareholders of EE Ltd, regularly analyse the development of the market in which EE operates, evaluating various strategic options which have the potential to create value for EE's shareholders and strengthen the market position of EE," EE announced on Wednesday.
"As one of these options, Deutsche Telekom AG and Orange SA are in exploratory discussions with BT, although it is too early to state whether any transaction may occur."
BT has not been present in the British mobile telephone market since it sold O2 network to Telefonica in 2005 for £17.7 billion.
In addition to EE and O2, Britain's other mobile telephone network operators are Vodafone and Three, which is owned by Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa.