We’ve known for a while that AT&T is interested in a possible expansion into the European wireless market. More recently, rumors and unofficial reports have hinted that AT&T might specifically be eyeing Vodafone. At least for the moment however, this claim has been put to rest.
At the request of the UK Takeover Panel, AT&T has issued an official statement clarifying that they are not interested in taking over Vodafone. Thanks to restrictions found in the UK takeover code, that means AT&T can not move forward with any kind of bid for at least six months.
The only exception to this rule is if Vodafone’s board chooses to ‘ignore’ the AT&T statement and allow a bid anyhow. Additionally, AT&T would be allowed to place a bid if a rival bidder surfaced with its own plans to buy up Vodafone.
So what does all of this mean? In short, if AT&T is looking to enter the European market via Vodafone, it will be at least another half year before a formal bid is made. On the other hand, previous rumors have suggested carriers like EE could also potential targets for AT&T’s entrance into the European market, so perhaps AT&T has just shifted targets.
Bottom-line, AT&T might still be actively interested in expanding into Europe, but it’s a move that probably won’t happen any time soon.