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Vodafone Shares Jump on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger News

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Vodafone shares jumped in value on the London stock exchange following last night's announcement that AT&T is buying T Mobile USA for USD39 billion. Analysts expect that the move will reduce the ability for Verizon Wireless to acquire Sprint Nextel due to anti trust pressures, although it may be able to pick up some radio sp ectrum if the US regulators demand disposals as a condition of the T Mobile sale.

The move also reduces the "risk" that Vodafone would attempt another expensive foray into the USA on its own, such as its aborted attempt to buy AT&T back in 2004.

The T-Mobile USA deal turns the U.S. market into "a de facto duopoly," between AT&T and Verizon, according to analysts including Robin Bienenstock at Sanford C Bernstein.

Verizon Wireless - which is 45 percent owned by Vodafone - will benefit further because it "sidelines its major U.S. competitors in a focus on integration," Morten Singleton, an analyst at Investec Securities told Bloomberg News.

Vodafone shared climbed as much as 5.3 percent in early trading. Deutsche Telekom also saw its shares in Germany jump by 13% on the news of the sale of its US subsidiary.

On the web: Bloomberg News

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Tags: vodafone  at&t  t-mobile usa  usa  UK