Rumors That AT&T Plans to Buy Vodafone Swirling Once Again

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**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest communications mergers in Q2 2014.**

Rumors that AT&T Inc. wants to buy Europe’s Vodafone Group popped up again over the weekend.

The speculation first started circulating about a year ago and then went quiet in early 2014. But since Vodafone snapped up a majority stake of Greece’s Hellas Online late last week, industry observers once again are talking up an AT&T-Vodafone combination.

AT&T has made little secret of its desire to expand into international markets and, indeed, in early August was said to be eyeing Ireland’s Eircom as a way to gain a “low-tax route" into Europe.

Now, some sites say Vodafone once more is the subject of a takeover bid from AT&T, but they’re not revealing sources to back up those statements. And other reports say AT&T’s finances – including debt, market cap and stock price – are out of proportion to what would be required for a Vodafone purchase, especially since the planned $48.5 billion DirecTV acquisition is not yet a done deal.

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