Vodafone’s big deal: Good or bad for UK?

Phones on the Verizon network

Few corporate deals are so big that they take on an economic significance.

But the $130bn Vodafone is receiving for its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless is equivalent to the size of the entire annual output of Hungary.

All that money will have an impact on lives in a variety of ways.

When most of it is distributed to Vodafone's shareholders, they will spend and invest some of it - which should increase economic activity.

Many of them should pay some tax on the increased income they'll receive.

Vodafone itself should be made stronger, when it uses some of the proceeds to pay down its debts - and maybe that will make it a more fearsome competitor in mobile phones, to the benefit of consumers.

And if it uses some of the residual billions to continue to expand its interests in cable and fixed line networks, maybe it will squeeze some growth out of its huge operations in the mature sluggish economies of Europe - to the further benefit of its shareholders.

So possibly it would be wrong to carp and wring hands that Vodafone won't be paying a penny of tax to the British taxman on the tens of billions of pounds of profit it will make from the disposal.

Because if it had been obliged to pay very substantial tax on the sale, it would have turned down the offer from Verizon Communications - and a windfall for the British economy would have been lost.

Robert Peston Article written by Robert Peston Robert Peston Economics editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 211.

    The business exec you describe wants his benefits too. Corporate welfare is as harmful as social welfare. Stand on your own 2 feet, contribute, don't expect a handout. Be an adult. Freedom means personal responsibility, not dependence.

    I decry MPs doling out welfare cheques to idle people, and equally to execs who also get 'benefits' in the form of protectionism measures, at my expense

  • rate this

    Comment number 210.

    Vodafone pay tax?
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  • rate this

    Comment number 209.

    @198. Dunno what role you hold in industry Sally, or maybe you're just another theoretician peddling a particular libertarian point.All I can relate is that one very senior utility exec once derided the introduction of more competition in his industry,cos the 'fixed costs' would remain the same,thus no tangible beneficial effect.The rest applies anyway in varying degrees wherever business is done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 208.

    207.Concerned Citizen
    Well said.

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    What a domestic technology business success for the UK - Vodaphone is.

    A world player which makes £130bn after years of dividend payments from 45% ownership of the dominent US player - will someone applaud this?

    At least the domestic private & institutional shareholders have made staggering returns from their investments.


Comments 5 of 211


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