AT&T has released a statement ruling out the acquisition of Vodafone in the wake of growing speculation.
The American operator has been linked with a takeover of the UK network for some time as its apparent interest in the European market grows. The announcement comes after the UK Takeover Panel requested AT&T to state its position with regards to any takeover plans. The US giant has to wait at least six months now if it wishes to reignite its interest in acquiring Vodafone.
The UK's third largest operator sold its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless last Autumn in a $130 billion (£75 billion) deal which should be ratified by shareholders next week.
AT&T's statement said: ‘At the request of the UK Takeover Panel, AT&T confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Vodafone. Accordingly, AT&T is bound by the restrictions under Rule 2.8 of the UK Takeover Code (the “Code”).
‘For the purposes of Rule 2.8 of the Code, AT&T reserves the right to announce or participate in an offer or possible offer for Vodafone and/or to take any other action which would otherwise be restricted under Rule 2.8 of the Code within 6 months after the date of this announcement in the circumstances described in note 2 to Rule 2.8 of the Code.’
Vodafone declined to comment.