The Wall Street Journal reports that the American network carrier AT&T is seeking to expand into Europe in the near future. AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson said his company will consider making an acquisition of a European network carrier in the future stating that their are a lot more opportunities for expansion in Europe than in the USA. AT&T’s CEO said that Verizon’s deal to purchase Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless opened his eyes to a European expansion. It is also believed that AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile 2 years ago, which was halted by the U.S government based on competition concerns, is part of the reason AT&T are looking to expand into new markets. Currently the USA has four major network carriers – AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile – so the U.S government is unlikely to let that slide to three any time soon.
“We have pretty much written off that any kind of large-scale deal in our sector is going to get done … going from four players to three is kind of a threshold issue.”
AT&T’s plans to expand and invest into the European market certainly will not be plain sailing. Issues of differences in public policy (such as concerns over data protection) as well as the way spectrum licenses are handled could both pose obstacles to AT&T’s expansion.
Image courtesy of AT&T