updated 08:15 am EDT, Mon June 29, 2009
Vodafone May Buy T-Mo UK
An apparent leak late Sunday suggests that Vodafone may be interested in buying T-Mobile's British division. Reported sources for FT have the former either buying the smaller UK carrier or else establishing a joint venture. The deal would be possible thanks to T-Mobile's widely rumored dire financial state, which may have left the company with little choice but to look for a partner.
While Vodafone is already near-tied with O2 in the British market with a full quarter of all customers, analysts believe UK regulators like Ofcom may be willing to allow such a deal to match conditions in France and Spain, where one carrier has a clear advantage over others but is still small enough to avoid monopoly status. Vodafone itself also recently merged operations with relatively small-scale carrier 3 in Australia and may be willing to negotiate similar deals elsewhere.
Neither of the involved companies has commented on the authenticity of the story.