as of late, leading us to report that Vodafone has announced the sale of its 44 percent share in French carrier SFR to partner Vivendi. The €7.75 billion deal is leaving the media conglomerate with a 100 percent ownership in France's second largest cellular network, though Voda and SFR have agreed to "maintain their commercial cooperation" for the good of mankind. In case the news slipped by you, the world's wealthiest telecom has been on a selling streak recently, also divesting itself of minority stakes in China and Japan -- all while freeing up gobs of capital to focus on its more strategic markets.
Considering Vodafone owns a 44 percent share in Verizon Wireless, the opportunity is ripe for speculation of what it may do next. While analysts opine that the company may attempt to sell its share in VZW back to Verizon, others see consolidation in the air, hinting that it may do the unthinkable and make a pass at Sprint. While Verizon's CEO has done his utmost to extinguish this rumor, if it were true, the last thing they'd want to do is give it merit -- the result being either driving Sprint's price up, or pushing Verizon's stock down -- depending on the whims of investors. You can now thank us for writing a business article without a single mention of regulators, options or dividends. Oh, wait... there it is.