Quentin Webb is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist, covering mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and private equity. He is based in London. Before becoming a columnist, he was a news reporter for Reuters, where he was most recently European M&A correspondent. He has also worked as a correspondent in Brussels and as a credit-markets reporter. He joined Reuters in 2003 from Legalease, a legal publisher. He has a first-class degree in psychology from University College London. Follow Quentin on Twitter @qtwebb
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Telefonica and Telecom Italia are vying to buy GVT from Vivendi for $9 bln or more. The stakes are high and everything hinges on the French group’s new boss, Vincent Bollore. He may see more value in an Italian deal - even if this recalls Vivendi’s unhappy conglomerate past.
Xavier Niel’s Iliad is the Ryanair or Aldi of telecoms – lean and clever. Winning control of T-Mobile US could allow the French billionaire to repeat some of his tricks Stateside. That might guillotine market share and margins at AT&T and Verizon.
Fox’s bid for Time Warner and Sprint’s tilt at T-Mobile US are the latest big deals to fall over. Collapses accompany M&A booms. Rising confidence spurs bidders to take bigger risks - and encourages targets to hold out for more. And the bolder the deal, the more regulators fret.
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