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Verizon and AT&T to Tag Team Purchase of Vodafone?

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This morning, an interesting story is making the rounds across the Internet, involving a supposed deal between AT&T and Verizon. According to “usually reliable people” of the Financial Times, America’s two largest carriers are looking to partner up and purchase Vodafone, a move that could end bringing the company’s value to $245 billion. If everything went according to plan, Verizon would take back the 45% control that Vodafone has over its U.S. operations, aka a minority stake in Verizon Wireless. 

The remaining sum of Vodafone and its international operations and assets would go to AT&T. AT&T has longed for a presence in Europe, and this would certainly help them gain purchasing power that they could return domestically.

Reports suggest that the partnership would help the deal pass through regulatory hurdles and also remove some of the risk off of each company. With that said, all parties have declined to comment.

Currently, Vodafone is the world’s second largest mobile carrier, after that of China Mobile with 403 million subscribers.

What this would mean for each individual company is yet to be seen and with a price tag of $245 billion, this is a major undertaking that could very well re-shape the world’s mobile industry.

Via: CNET | Financial Times

  • eurospoofer

    Back in the day (1974), before the US government was the gutless corporate mouthpiece they are today, the US Justice department forced AT & T (Then Bell) to ‘diverse’ or split up as they’d become too big and too dominant to serve anyone fairly other than themselves.

    It’ll be interesting to see the contrasting reaction today if this deal goes through. Something tells me there will be no such reaction that upset those precious money bearing lobbyists. Who going to care more about the consumer when money and political power are dangled in front of the eyes of the new breed of professional politician?

    • kg215

      Yeah I agree there is no way the government would do anything like that now, feels like the US is the first country to bow down to big corporations these days and other countries are the ones doing the right thing. Or maybe I am just bitter that Obama bowed down to the MPAA and RIAA when it was time for SOPA and PIPA with no hesitation.

  • Mike

    Google should buy Vodafone.

  • CapnShiner

    This deal is bad news for consumers in two continents. AT&T and Verizon are already too big and I bet Verizon would actually be exploiting their customers even more without Vodafone’s influence. The prospect of AT&T getting into the European market should scare the hell out of any Europeans familiar with AT&T and Americans who travel to Europe. If Vodafone is the second largest mobile carrier in the world that means it’s bigger than AT&T. How the hell can a smaller company purchase a larger company? I think that means that either Vodafone is struggling to stay above water or AT&T has much higher profit margins per customer. The latter would be further evidence that AT&T is ripping off its customers. Personally, I don’t think AT&T or Verizon should be allowed to get any bigger. Forcing them to split their mobile and residential services into separate companies might actually be a good idea.

    • Dylan Patel

      While I agree with the sentiment, If Verizon and AT&T go together and buy them out it would work. They are not buying them out alone. I suspect the number of people VodaPhone serves actually includes all of Verizons numbers.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jtwieme JT Wieme

    ma bell is broken up into baby bells, consolidation of baby bells over the past 30 years results in at&t and verizon, at&t and verizon team up to buy vodafone. ma bell lives!

    • sc4fpse

      Zombie Ma Bell. Hmm.

  • master94

    No. Just No. I dont want to see At&t when I travel. Vodaphone is a real network, not a joke like At&t. Prices will soar sky high while quality will go down the trash

    • noc007

      AT&T couldn’t manage their way out of a cardboard box. Can’t imagine what they would do with Vodafone.

      • michael arazan

        Bring in over priced tiered data with gouging prices, while becoming a company that will be too big to fail if something were to go wrong. Hopefully regulators will have enough common sense to stop att and vzw from doing this deal

        • kg215

          I certainly wouldn’t mind AT&T getting too big and failing, provided Verizon doesn’t benefit from it and get even bigger. AT&T has policies just as bad as Verizon but with crappier coverage. If T-mobile and some other smaller companies took over AT&T’s networks it could be great competition for Verizon. Of course the nightmare scenario is Verizon attracts most of the ex AT&T customers and gets even cockier and finds more ways to rip people off.

  • Bigsike

    AT&T and Verizon need to team up to get rid of their contracts that’s what they NEED to be doing.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    How about they Tag Team their LTE Networks and make them compatible?

    • George264

      I second this. Will never happen, but imagine the possibilities. Super fast LTE, coverage just about everywhere.

      Although by then, they can probably enslave us with that power
      “No LTE for you, if you don’t be our slave”

      • humfreyfamoye

        upto I looked at the receipt of $9333, I have faith that my mom in-law woz like they say trully receiving money part-time on their laptop.. there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only about and at present cleard the morgage on there home and purchased a great Dodge. read more at, — Buzz80.ℂom

      • trophynuts

        Super fast LTE coverage just about everywhere…..Isn’t that pretty much VZW now?

        • kg215

          I believe Verizon has the best all around coverage in the US (voice, 3g, LTE) but the speed definitely dropped in some areas after the LTE network expanded so much. Personal experience in southern California: When I first got my Galaxy Nexus I used to get 15-20 mb down at home and 25-30mb down in outside locations. That was when the Verizon Gnex was first released, now I get 5-10 mb down at home and usually get 15mb down around town. It’s still solid speed but it doesn’t destroy HSPA+ like it used to, I envy the people that get 35-40mb down in locations with less users.

  • http://twitter.com/yitty4eva Terrence Adams

    Very interesting venture..Seems like it would give ATT more benefit since it would make them a force internationally.

  • red014

    Is it sad that I saw BGR tweet this out earlier and I didn’t click it because I figured they were just a day late with April Fools day like they are with every other story?

  • cjohnson481

    seems like for VZW it would only mean not giving away 45% of the farm to Vodaphone all of the time, whereas a bigger win would be for AT&T to gain footholds into the Euro market. so doesnt seem like it would be bad for US subscribers because we wouldnt be losing competition in the states, there would still be the major 4.

  • r0lct

    Probably bad news for the consumer. The larger ATT & Verizon grow the more power they’ll keep to inflate their prices and strongarm OEMs.

    • zepfloyd

      Probably? No, more like definitely.

      • EC8CH

        How long ago was the last time AT&T was broken up after becoming a monopoly??? seems to be a cyclical thing in the telecom industry.

        • zepfloyd

          Yup.

  • randompsychology

    Well, that would be a serious bummer. Who wants American telecos controlling global mobile markets? Not me.

    The other way around might be acceptable, though.

    • zepfloyd

      Really? How’s that worked for T-Mobile the last decade? Japan’s Softbank also just bought Sprint…

      • randompsychology

        I think T-Mobile’s customers benefit more and more daily. They might be behind technologically right now, but from a policy standpoint, they’re way ahead. Eliminating contracts, slashing prices, and making things affordable is great business.

        • zepfloyd

          That’s mere circumstantial preset day history. Deutsche telekom left TMO to rot for the last 5+ years while nearly publicly siphoning money from it to better parts of the business. Were it not for a little US regulation it would be part of AT&T or dead today. It only has new life because it was given free cash and needed spectrum from a failed deal…and entered into another merger. Yes they are better on policy today because they HAVE TO from a competitive standpoint to be attractive to consumers. If they were as big as T or Vz they’d be just as draconian. When they catch up, they may be a real force, for now they are still only trying to stay out of survival mode.

          • sc4fpse

            The T-Mobile USA saga would really make for an epic movie…

            “Rejected by its parent… left to die in a strange, foreign land. This is the story of one small company determined to prove that with pink comes power. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. ‘T-Mobile.’ Coming Summer 2013. This film is not yet rated.”

          • kg215

            Well put, I agree that if T-mobile had it’s position reversed with Verizon it would do the same thing. The only reason a lot of us put up with Verizon’s bad policies is the coverage, if they had T-mobile’s coverage I am sure they wouldn’t be such d-bags.

      • Justin Winker

        I actually like where T-Mobile is taking it’s business model. I dislike that they aren’t expanding their coverage, but I like that they are going contract-less and following a more Euro-style carrier model.

        • noc007

          This. I wish T-Mobile would expand their coverage, but I do like what they’re doing with their new cash and where they’re taking their business. I hear they cover 99% of where I would go. If I travel and will be outside that coverage area, I can just get a prepaid phone a carrier with better coverage; I’ll just tack the added cost onto the expense of the travel. I’m already paying a $40+/mo premium on VZW; I might as well switch and pay $40 every once in a while.