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AT&T dismisses talk of a Vodafone takeover bid

Vodafone Germany store (STOCK)

AT&T might want a piece of the European wireless market, but it’s not planning to bid for British firm Vodafone. The US carrier revealed today that it won’t make a takeover offer for Vodafone, following months of speculation that originated in October. AT&T’s confirmation means it won’t make an offer for Vodafone for six months to adhere with UK Takeover Code. However, AT&T is still free to make an offer if Vodafone’s board approves it or if a third party bids on Vodafone.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson previously revealed there was a “huge opportunity for somebody” in Europe, thanks to the slow pace of advanced wireless adoption in the region. While Vodafone will be free of its $130 billion stake in Verizon Wireless shortly, it’s clear AT&T is holding off on any potential deal for the world’s second-largest mobile operator. It’s not clear why the talks ended without a bid, but previous rumors suggested Vodafone’s plans to invest in landline communications may turn AT&T off any deal. Previous reports also suggested that AT&T may consider UK carrier EE as an “alternative target” to Vodafone, so it’s possible the US carrier still has plans for Europe yet.

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