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AT&T wants to buy Vodafone in 2014, but it will face challenges

News by Andrew Kameka on Friday November 01, 2013.

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AT&T wants to become an even bigger telecommunications and service provider, and the US-based company may look to merge with one of Europe's largest operators, Vodafone Group, to make that happen. Bloomberg reports that AT&T is devising a strategy that would allow it to takeover Vodafone and become the world's largest carrier.

According to Bloomberg's sources, AT&T is considering buying Vodafone as a way to break into European markets at a time when interest rates are low, which would make it more affordable for AT&T to finance its purchase of Vodafone. The proposal may be presented as early as next year, but it will have hurdles because the deal would require waiting for the completion of Verizon's $130 billion goal of buying out Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless. Previous rumors had suggested that AT&T wanted to partner with Verizon to purchase Vodafone and jointly operate the company, but Verizon shot down that proposal.

AT&T would then have to worry about regulatory approval from multiple government agencies in Europe, Africa, and India, where Vodafone currently operates. In the event that AT&T manages to pull-off a deal, the carrier would then consider selling off African assets to other operators, according to Bloomberg.

EE might be a more reasonable target for AT&T, and AT&T is reportedly considering that carrier as an alternative company to pursue should its takeover plan for Vodafone prove impractical. T-Mobile and Orange jointly own EE. The two carriers partnered and rebranded their UK operations to better compete with Vodafone and O2. AT&T is keener on Vodafone because it would provide access to more markets in Europe.

source: Bloomberg

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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