Vodafone and Liberty Global end talks over “asset swap”

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Operator had been in discussion with Virgin Media parent over exchange of assets since June but Vodafone confirms talks have been “terminated”

Talks between Vodafone and Liberty Global over an exchange of assets have ended, according to the UK operator.

Vodafone had been holding discussions with the Virgin Media parent company over combining some of their mobile and fixed line assets since June.

According to a statement from the UK operator, the talks with liberty have now been “terminated.”

Vodafone said: “On 5 June 2015, Vodafone Group Plc (“Vodafone”) confirmed that it was in the early stages of discussions with Liberty Global Plc (“Liberty Global”) regarding a possible exchange of selected assets between the two companies.

“Vodafone today announces that discussions with Liberty Global have terminated.”

Liberty is controlled by US billionaire John Malone, who recently indicated talks between the two providers had stalled.

Malone said they “hadn’t been able to figure out a way to [make it] mutually successful”, according to recent reports.

It leaves Vodafone facing the possibility of becoming the UK’s smallest mobile operator, with Three-parent company CK Hutchison set to buy O2 for £10.25 billion, and BT poised to buy EE for £13.5 billion.

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