FCC approves Verizon’s massive purchase of Vodafone shares

Will Conley - Dec 4, 2013, 5:23pm CST
FCC approves Verizon’s massive purchase of Vodafone shares

The FCC has granted Verizon Communications approval to acquire the remainder of Verizon Wireless from UK wireless provider Vodafone. The approval comes two months after announcements from both companies that the deal is expected to close in early 2014 for $130 billion. Currently Verizon Communications owns 55% of Verizon Wireless, while Vodafone owns 45%.

The announcement from the FCC highlights changes made earlier this year to the rules governing purchases between US and foreign companies. Previously the maximum ownership of foreign assets was 25%. The rule change is intended to “encourage investment while reducing delay, uncertainty and expense,” the FCC said.

The deal is expected to see Verizon Communications claim a much larger portion of Verizon Wireless’ income. In 2012, VC allocated $9.7 billion of $10.6 billion to Vodafone and other stakeholders.

The effect on consumers is expected to be minimal, at least in the short term. But it could pose some long-term benefits, according to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. He said the purchase will bring more value and efficiency to the carrier across all platforms. He also touted “increased opportunities in the enterprise and consumer wireline markets.”


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