**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q4 2013.**
Verizon on Friday put the finishing touches on one of the largest acquisitions in communications history. Big Red completed its purchase of Vodafone's 45-percent stake in Verizon Wireless, America's largest wireless operator, in a deal worth $130 billion.
"This is a great day for Verizon," said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO. "The new Verizon now has full ownership of the U.S. wireless industry leader in network performance, profitability and cash flow. Acquiring Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless provides us with opportunities for greater financial flexibility, enhanced operational efficiency and innovations that will benefit customers. We are confident it will fuel further growth in our business."
The move gives Vodafone some serious cash to boost its efforts against competition on a regional level in Europe. The carrier is expected to spend about $10 billion on high-speed wireless and broadband services over the next few years.
Analysts predict as the wireless market becomes saturated with cellphones, Verizon will offer more, reasonably priced bundles of its wireline and wireless products to get a return on its new investment. But the biggest opportunity, of course, will be having access to what used to be Vodafone's share of VzW's profit.
Verizon Wireless, which serves approximately 119 million customers, began as a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone in April 2000. The companies got shareholder approval for the sale in September 2013. That was followed by the necessary regulatory approvals.
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