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Spain's Telefonica sees no further takeovers -paper

Source: Reuters - Mon 1st Nov 2010

Spain's Telefonica is not planning any further acquisitions after its recent stake hike at its Brazilian operations, Chairman Cesar Alierta said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Monday.

Alierta said he expects the telecoms giant he leads to be a spectator, not a player, as the European telecoms sector consolidates.

"Some investors believe that we are going to keep on buying things, but we are not...Telefonica has a share of about 20 percent in the European market, so we will look at consolidation from outside," the paper cited Alierta as saying.

Telefonica secured a 7.5 billion euro ($9.5 billion) deal to buy control of Brazilian mobile joint venture Vivo in July.

It also bought broadband company HanseNet this year to reinforce its position in the highly competitive German market.

Alierta ruled out following in the steps of other Spanish companies operating in Brazil such as Santander and Repsol and selling shares in its Brazilian unit to finance growth there.

"We don't need to" the chairman said.

He reiterated Telefonica's complaint that the economics of the internet is skewed to favour data providers over network operators.

"Traffic is sprawling but revenue not so much."

Exponential growth in data traffic fuelled both by content providers and users who pay a fixed tariff is pushing up costs and investments for network operators without raising revenue.

Telefonica and other operators are studying charging content providers like Google for using their networks.

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