Vodafone and China Mobile pull out of Myanmar race

LONDON Fri May 31, 2013 6:20am EDT

A man selling mobile phones, uses his own at a shop in Yangon February 4, 2013. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

A man selling mobile phones, uses his own at a shop in Yangon February 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Vodafone and China Mobile said on Friday they had pulled out of the battle to win a new license in Myanmar, saying the conditions set by the country did not suit the two operators.

The Chinese and British groups, the first and second-largest operators in the world respectively, said in April that they had joined forces to bid for a license in the country formerly known as Burma, where the government wants to increase the number of mobile operators from two to four.

They were among 12 applicants to reach the short list.

"Following the publication of the final license conditions on 20 May, the Vodafone-China Mobile consortium has reached the decision not to proceed with the process as the opportunity does not meet the strict internal investment criteria to which both Vodafone and China Mobile adhere," Vodafone said.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Rhys Jones)

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