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Verizon denies Vodafone buyout

$245 billion deal not happening

Verizon has denied claims in the FT that is planning to write a $245 billion cheque to buy Vodafone. The plan was that Verizon was teaming with AT&T to buy Vodafone, in a deal worth $245 billion. Under the deal, the FT reported, Verizon would acquire the 45 percent stake Vodafone currently owns in its US operations. The remainder of Vodafone's business outside the US would go to AT&T.

But in a regulatory filing made today in response to media reports, and published by various news sites, Verizon declared: "As Verizon has said many times, it would be a willing purchaser of the 45 percent stake that Vodafone holds in Verizon Wireless. It does not, however, currently have any intention to merge with or make an offer for Vodafone, whether alone or in conjunction with others."

Vodafone's shares had jumped nearly six per cent on speculation about a buyout, but they fell back 3.4 percent after Verizon said it was not interested. Vodafone is the world's second-largest carrier behind China Mobile with 403 million customers. Ironically there have been rumours that Verizon wants to end its relationship with Vodafone.

Reports last month suggested Vodafone and Verizon were considering a wide range of options, including merging their two operations or simply going their separate ways. Those talks stalled.

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