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Speculation rife on Vodafone deal with Swisscom

According to the SonntagsZeitung, the government will give its verdict on the deal on Wednesday

(Keystone)

Newspaper reports say the Swiss government will this week decide whether to accept an offer by the British telecom company, Vodafone, for a 25 per cent share in the mobile phone branch of Swisscom, Mobilcom.

One week before Switzerland's auction of third generation mobile phone licenses, speculation is increasing as to which corporate link-ups will secure the four licences which are up for sale.

The SonntagsZeitung said on Sunday the government would give the deal the green light on Wednesday.

Another newspaper reported that the government had already given the go-ahead to Swisscom to sell part of Mobilcom.

Neither Swisscom nor the government - which holds a 65 per cent stake in Swisscom - would comment on the reports.

If the reports are true, telecoms experts say the partnership would put Swisscom in a far stronger position for Switzerland's auction of third generation mobile phone licences, known as UMTS, which starts on November 13.

Vodafone is the biggest mobile phone company in the world, but Switzerland is the only European country in which it does not have a foothold.

swissinfo with agencies


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