Telefonica Europe *is* O2 (as opposed to O2's parent "Telefonica SA")!
The point we are trying to make is that giffgaff is part of the overall Telefonica family *via* O2, not directly.
From Wikipedia article "Telefónica Europe":
"In September 2009, a new MVNO called Giffgaff was launched. The operator is wholly owned by O2."
That's why giffgaff jobs are advertised on the O2 Careers website.
Which makes sense seeing as O2 UK are the UK branch of Telefonica globally, who's Gav Thompson more likely to go to to propose giffgaff, the global head office or the UK head office
I don't know if giffgaff aren't largely independent, they probably have some sort of mandate giving them a good degree of autonomy. After all, O2/Telefonica/whatever obviously want to see if the business experiment works, but they probably have a lot more involvement in giffgaff than any of them are willing to let on. Does anyone know if they have to show O2/Telefonica/whatever financial reports etc.?
Sorry, for sounding so cynical!