AT&T dismisses rumors of Vodafone takeover offer

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.

U.S. mobile group AT&T has ruled out a bid for Britain’s Vodafone for now, with banking sources saying a U.S. spying scandal and a surge in European telecom shares may have disrupted a deal that many think could still happen. AT&T, the second-largest U.S. mobile operator, sparked speculation it could be interested in a potentially 70 billion pound-plus ($115 billion) deal for Vodafone after its chief executive said in October there was a “huge opportunity” in Europe to invest in mobile broadband. However, after weekend news reports it had met European regulators to sound them out about a deal, AT&T was asked by Britain’s takeover watchdog to clarify its position and said in a brief statement on Monday it did not intend to make a bid.

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