NEW YORK, Sept 24 AT&T Inc Chief Executive
Randall Stephenson said on Tuesday his company would buy
wireless assets in Europe if there were available at the right
Stephenson declined to comment on potential deals during an
appearance at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference. The
executive said European operators were far behind the United
states in investments in wireless broadband, mainly because
regulatory policies regarding spectrum licenses discouraged
investments in the region.
But he said when the policies change, broadband investments
should take off.
"Those things I believe happen over time," he said, adding
that any move by AT&T to enter Europe would depend on the
valuation of any assets available.
As growth slows in the U.S. wireless market, analysts have
speculated that AT&T could buy overseas assets from Vodafone
Group Plc, which agreed to sell its stake in U.S.
wireless operator Verizon Wireless to joint venture partner
Verizon Communications Inc.
Meanwhile, in the United States Stephenson said he believes
"large scale" mergers and acquisitions were not likely in the
next three years.
He cited the U.S. Justice Department's blocking AT&T's 2011
plan to buy T-Mobile US Inc for $39 billion and the
recent decision by the agency's antitrust arm to stop two major
U.S. airlines from merging.
"It will remove all questions in your mind about how the DoJ
thinks about going from four national players to three,"
In what would be a much smaller deal, Stephenson said AT&T
was close to selling its wireless broadcast towers but did not
He said AT&T was not seeing an impact from increased
competition in the U.S. market from rivals such as T-Mobile,
except among price-sensitive customers.