AT&T won't make a play for Vodafone

There have been rumors flying that AT&T was considering a takeover attempt for European mobile carrier Vodafone. AT&T has come out and said that it has ruled out any potential purchase of Vodafone for the next six months. That statement presumably means that there could be a chance later in the year that AT&T might look to make the purchase.

The rumors of AT&T trying to take over Vodafone started after AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson noted that there was an opportunity for the company to invest in mobile broadband in Europe. AT&T denied any attempt at trying to purchase Vodafone in a statement sent to the London Stock Exchange.

AT&T specifically told the UK Takeover Panel that it does not intent to make an offer for Vodafone. Analyst Robert Grindle from Espirito Santo believes that AT&T came to the decision to not attempt a purchase upon realizing how competitive the market is in Europe. The stiff competition in the market is continuing to drive down prices in the wireless realm.

AT&T denying the purchase attempt sent shares in Vodafone down 6% in trading. Grindle thinks that AT&T might come back and attempt a purchase once the market stabilizes. Previous speculation was that when Vodafone sold off its shares of Verizon in the US it would be open for a takeover. That shedding of Verizon US holdings by Vodafone will be complete in February.

SOURCE: Reuters