Talks between Vodafone and Liberty Global about exchanging assets to better compete in Europe's converging mobile, broadband and TV markets have collapsed. As Grace pascoe reports neither side could agree on the value of their businesses.
Talks terminate between Vodafone and Liberty Global. The two telecom giants were expected to swap assets. In a bid to better compete in Europe's converging mobile, broadband and TV markets. Jeremy Batstone-Carr is from Charles Stanley. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHARLES STANLEY, CHIEF STRATEGIST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "We think that there was much more pressure exerted on Liberty to do some form of deal because of increasing pressure in its cable-led business model But when you actually start to drill into the differences that exist between the two businesses both in terms of their structure and in terms of their strategy, it becomes increasingly obvious that forming some form of reliable and lasting tie up was never really going to be much of an option." The tie-up was announced back in June. Both groups saw an opportunity to follow rivals and sell combined packages of mobile, fixed-line, broadband and television. Vodafone shares dipped to the four month low of 4 percent on the news. IG's Chris Beauchamp thinks their door may still be open. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG, MARKET ANALYST, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "It meant that Vodafone was given much greater access to new markets. That was the key attraction really as well as the entertainment element to come through. Without that they will have to work harder to find someone else to partner with but the options are still there, someone maybe in the U.S. or someone crucially with a lot of emerging market exposure to help complement some of its own strengths really." But a standalone business is also an option for Vodafone, even though it's facing tough competition in Britain after BT agreed to a merger with EE.