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Vodafone-Verizon Deal Might Trigger Opening for AT&T

By Craig Galbraith
August 30, 2013 - News

**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest communications mergers in Q2 2013.**

The potential sale of Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon might, in turn, open the floodgates for U.S. investment in Europe.

The deal, which some have said could happen as early as next week, is opening eyes in the industry, considering the suggested $130 billion price tag would be the biggest communications acquisition in 10 years.

AT&T, in particular, might see an opening. The carrier recently has expressed interest in making acquisitions across the pond that would give it the opportunity to offer wireless services to customers in Europe, especially considering the fact that its major acquisition attempts in the U.S. – most notably T-Mobile two years ago – have been shut down by regulators.

Europe's economy has been slower to recover that America's, but the Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T thinks that there will be increased opportunities for consumption-based smartphone data billing in the coming months.

"Once you have companies that are after global scale, it becomes a case of eat or be eaten," Bernstein Research analyst Robin Bienenstock told the Journal. So look for some more big M&A if the Vodafone-Verizon deal happens, Bienenstock said.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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