AT&T appears to be looking longingly, hungrily across the Atlantic at Vodafone, and it has acquisition in its eyes. It's no secret AT&T wants to expand into Europe. They're already one of the biggest carriers in the U.S., and there's never enough customers nor money in the world, is there? Mark Kleinman has the latest on Sky News:
Sky News has learnt that Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chairman and chief executive, met the EU Telecoms Commissioner Neelie Kroes at the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss his ambition to become a major player in the European market.
Insiders said that Mr Stephenson and Ms Kroes discussed a number of issues including the Commission's receptiveness to a potential takeover bid for a major European operator such as Vodafone.
International carrier deals aren't anything new. Deutsche Telekom owns T-Mobile in the U.S. and Japan's SoftBank owns a huge swath of Sprint. Vodafone itself, until last year, owned a stake in Verizon. So, yeah, complicated.
Vodafone would give AT&T access not only to the U.K., but Germany, Italy, Spain, and other markets. If it doesn't work out, EE is said to be an alternative. It's unclear what, if anything, this would mean to existing customers. Historically better roaming rates, for example, haven't been easy to come by. Either way, anyone on AT&T or Vodafone rushing to get into bed together, acquisition-ally speaking?