BT Group plc (trading as BT) is a holding company which owns British Telecommunications plc, a British multinational telecommunications services company with head offices in London, United Kingdom. It has operations in around 180 countries.
BT's origins date back to the founding of the Electric Telegraph Company in 1846 which developed a nationwide communications network. In 1912, the General Post Office, a government department, became the monopoly telecoms supplier in the United Kingdom. The Post Office Act of 1969 led to the GPO becoming a public corporation. British Telecommunications, trading as British Telecom, was formed in 1980, and became independent of the Post Office in 1981. British Telecommunications was privatised in 1984, becoming British Telecommunications plc, with some 50 percent of its shares sold to investors. The Government sold its remaining stake in further share sales in 1991 and 1993. BT has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange, a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
BT controls a number of large subsidiaries. BT Global Services division supplies telecoms services to corporate and government customers worldwide, and its BT Consumer division supplies telephony, broadband, and subscription television services in Great Britain to around 18 million customers. BT announced in February 2015 that it had agreed to acquire EE for £12.5 billion, and received final regulatory approval from the Competition and Markets Authority on 15 January 2016. The transaction was completed on 29 January 2016.