AT&T CEO plays down hopes of Vodafone bid – report

AT&T CEO plays down Vodafone bid – report

10 MAR 2014

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (pictured) has told an industry audience that the possibility of the US giant buying into Europe’s mobile market may be receding, according to Financial Times.

The relative underinvestment by European operators in LTE technology was a big factor in whetting AT&T’s appetite but now operators in markets such as Germany and UK are rolling out 4G infrastructure, said Stephenson.

Also, he noted some improvement to the balance sheets of European operators which gave them more room for investment. “As you see these investments happening, you may kind of begin to think the window may be closing on perhaps owning wireless assets,” he said.

Stephenson was speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Media and Telecom conference.

In January, AT&T was forced by the UK’s Takeover Panel to rule out a Vodafone bid following much speculation. The statement meant the US operator was barred from a takeover of its UK counterpart for six months.

However, it was thought a six-month gap would not cool AT&T’s interest. Now Stephenson’s comments indicate that the US giant might be changing its mind about Europe.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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