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Vodafone and Virgin Media may team up to take down BT and Sky

Matt Brian, @m4tt

With BT currently in the process of acquiring EE and Sky expanding into mobile, the UK is set for media consolidation. Consumers are set to benefit as providers fight for their money, but it's also put a lot of pressure on other providers to expand their offerings. One provider feeling the heat is Vodafone, which has suggested it will expand beyond telecoms. The operator confirmed today that it's in the "early stages" of talks with Liberty Global, owner of Virgin Media, over the "possible exchange of selected assets between the two companies."

Vodafone doesn't note how a potential "transaction" would play out but it is keen to express that discussions will not focus on a merger. However, it's highly likely that the "assets" will include Virgin Media, which was only acquired by Liberty Global in February 2013. After all, BT, TalkTalk and Sky all have established TV and internet services and Vodafone does not. "There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed," notes Vodafone in a press release. "Nor is there certainty with respect to which assets will ultimately be involved." Virgin Media would be a good fit for Vodafone, even if it's just making a return to broadband -- we'll just have to see how this plays out.

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