BOSSES at Currys and PC World owner Dixons Retail Group and mobile phone firm Carphone Warehouse are in talks over a £3.6bn merger.
The companies have more than 3,000 stores with annual sales in excess of £12bn.
Dixons employs more than 31,000 workers in 12 countries, and the merger announcement comes after it reported a strong Christmas sales period with like-for-like sales in the UK rising five per cent in the three months to January 4.
Carphone Warehouse, which has more than 2,000 outlets, revealed like-for-like revenues rose five per cent in the quarter to December 28, with its performance boosted by the popularity of more expensive smartphones.
A statement said: “The boards of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse confirm the two companies are in preliminary discussions regarding a possible merger.
“These discussions are at a very preliminary stage and there can be no certainty a transaction will be forthcoming.
“No decision has been reached regarding the structuring of any such merger.”