As far as telecom deals go, Verizon's plans to buy out Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless is dwarfed by AT&T's planned acquisition of BellSouth. But the potential deal certainly sheds light on the changing fortunes of Vodafone, which was once a contender to buy AT&T Wireless (which was instead purchased by Cingular). With Vodafone said to be planning a sale of its Japanese unit as well, the company looks to be consolidating its European base, something the company's shareholders seem pleased with; Vodafone's stock has been rising as word of the potential market exits has circulated.

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