If I had to use three words to describe the week in telecoms so far, they would be "Vodafone, Vodafone, and, er, Vodafone". To say the UK-based operator has been in the news a lot in the past few days would be something of an understatement--and it's only Wednesday.
Portugal Telecom will offer all of its residential services including mobile under the MEO brand in future in order to exploit the operator's existing multi-play capabilities, and has dropped its previous mobile brand, TMN.
As the news broke that Liberty Global has secured Ziggo in a deal that values the Dutch cable operator at €10 billion ($13.7 billion) including debt, two questions were on everyone's lips: will there be an all-out war between Liberty and Vodafone as the two race to mop up Europe's last remaining independent cable assets, and what on earth will Rene Obermann do next?
As expected, Verizon Communications and Vodafone shareholders approved an agreement for Verizon to buy Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion. With the deal sailing toward a closing date next month, attention is now turning to what Verizon plans to do with full control of its lucrative wireless asset and what might change.
The U.S. is hardly the only place where cable consolidation efforts--spurred at least in part by industry icon John Malone--are happening. In Europe, Malone's Liberty Global is in a battle with Vodafone Group to build continent-dominating pay TV empires.
AT&T said it does not intend to make a takeover offer for U.K.-based carrier Vodafone, quashing months of speculation that AT&T might make a move on the operator.
Vodafone is reportedly in talks with the owners of Spanish cable operator Ono and could announce a deal in the next few weeks, according to Bloomberg.
AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson has reportedly made use of the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss various regulatory issues with European regulators including M&A, although on Monday the US operator denied rumours that it intends to made a bid for Vodafone.
Speculation is mounting that Spanish operator Ono is preparing a flotation that could value it at €7 billion, while rumours persist that Vodafone is still interesting in buying the TV, broadband and telecoms operator as part of its European convergence strategy.
Vodafone is reportedly considering a multibillion-euro deal to buy a majority stake in Tata Teleservices in a move that would turn the UK-based operator into the largest telecoms player in India, ahead of current market leader Airtel.