Spanish telecoms incumbent Telefonica is considering making an offer to buy its Dutch counterpart KPN, says the Financial Times Deutschland (FTD).
The report says that talks have not yet started. While Telefonica and KPN have previously denied reports of a possible merger, the FTD says France Telecom’s interest in TeliaSonera, confirmed this week, acted as a catalyst for new talks. A merger between the French and Swedish firm would be the third recent deal between two large incumbents in Europe, following Telefonica’s acquisition of a stake in Telecom Italia, and Deutsche Telekom’s investment in Greece’s OTE.
The report says an acquisition would merge the two firms’ German mobile carriers, KPN’s E-Plus and Telefonica’s O2, which are the country’s third and fourth largest mobile operators respectively. Telefonica declined to comment. The firm has repeatedly said that it does not plan any major acquisitions and that its priority is to cut debt and raise its dividend, says Reuters.
Telefonica and KPN called off a planned merger in 2000 and denied merger talks earlier this year.