Telefonica refutes report of AT&T takeover bid

The Spanish telecom provider says there's no truth to rumors that it has received acquisition offers.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney

Telefonica is throwing cold water on a report that AT&T made an offer to acquire it.

In a statement released Monday, the Spanish telecommunications giant said that "in relation to press rumors published today, Telefonica states that it has not received any approach, nor any indication of interest, neither verbal nor in written form, from any party."

Telefonica was responding to a story published Monday by Spanish newspaper El Mundo saying that AT&T had initiated a tender offer to acquire the company to the tune of 70,000 million euros ($93 billion) and take on some of its debt as well.

AT&T's offer reportedly got a thumb's down from the Spanish government, which said that Telefonica is considered "strategic," according to El Mundo. However, the government has refuted that claim.

Telefonica is a global communications provider with 315.7 million customers across 24 countries. But the company has been hurt by a sluggish economy in Spain and has taken on a fair amount of debt, according to the New York Times.