The union of OneWeb and Eutelsat may pose a threat to Elon Musk's Starlink.
It appears likely that a UK satellite business that was saved by the government two years ago would combine with an EU rival.
A combination between French satellite provider Eutelsat and British service provider OneWeb, which might help both businesses compete with Starlink, which is owned by Elon Musk, was revealed on Sunday.
According to a statement from Eutelsat, the "satellite connectivity" market is expected to be worth roughly $16 billion by 2030. "Eutelsat Communications confirms that it has engaged in discussions with its co-shareholders in OneWeb regarding a potential all-share combination to create a global leader in connectivity," the company said.
OneWeb, whose low-orbit satellites offer services such as broadband, was saved by Boris Johnson's administration in July 2020 after it was unable to acquire finance for a fleet of 650 spacecraft that was originally intended. The bailout was implemented after the UK was denied access to the EU's Galileo satellite navigation system as a result of Brexit, as The Guardian daily said.
India's Bharti Enterprises (38.6%), Eutelsat (22.9%), the UK Government (19.3%), and other organizations are among OneWeb's shareholders. The French and Chinese governments hold 20 percent and 5 percent, respectively, of Eutelsat's shares.
For seven years, OneWeb launched its satellites into orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and other Russian-run facilities before ceasing all collaboration in March as a result of international sanctions against Russia. OneWeb and Elon Musk's SpaceX later agreed to a partnership, and OneWeb anticipated resuming launches in the fourth quarter of this year. Currently, Eutelsat delivers TV channels to 50% of homes in Russia and some of its surrounding nations.