Verizon reportedly interested in working out relationship with Vodafone this yearAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Verizon Wireless originally launched way back in 2000, not long after Bell Atlantic (which later became Verizon Communications) and Vodafone agreed to merge together to create a U.S. wireless provider. It appears that some change may be coming to that long-standing joint venture soon, though, as Bloomberg is reporting that Verizon is interested in "resolving" its merger with Vodafone. The publication's sources claim that the companies have discussed both a complete merger as well as a buyout and that combination discussions were held as recently as December 2012, but that issues relating to things like leadership positions.
While it's said that these talks between Verizon and Vodafone have been taking place off and on for the past couple of years, there are currently no discussions being held. The talks that have taken place so far sound like they're preliminary, with this report's sources claiming that there have been no "substantial negotiations" regarding the sale of Vodafone's portion of Verizon Wireless. However, Verizon is reportedly eager to get its relationship with Vodafone resolved this year, and it's expected that talks between the two firms will start back up soon.
Even though these talks between Verizon and Vodafone aren't exactly new, the sources of today's report claim that Verizon is very interested in gaining full control over its wireless division, which is the most profitable arm of Verizon Communications. We've watched smartphone adoption grow quite a bit in recent years, and that's a trend that doesn't look to be stopping as consumers continue to gobble up mobile data and demand fast wireless speeds. Considering that, it's no surprise that Verizon would like more influence over its wireless arm. Whether or not we actually see a resolution to the relationship between Verizon and Vodafone remains to be seen, but judging from this rumor, don't be surprised to hear about more negotiations taking place in the near future.