LONDON (Reuters) - Vodafone, the world's second-biggest mobile operator, said it was considering an exchange of selected assets with Liberty Global, putting an end to speculation that a merger between the two companies was on the cards.
Vodafone has long been linked with a purchase or tie-up with Liberty, Europe's largest cable operator, as the market increasingly moves towards the combination of mobile services with fixed-line broadband.
The British company said on Friday that it was in early stage talks with Liberty regarding a possible exchange of "selected assets", putting out a statement following a media report on Thursday that the two companies were looking at merging.
"There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor is there certainty with respect to which assets will ultimately be involved," Vodafone said in its statement.
"Vodafone is not in discussions with Liberty Global concerning a combination of the two companies," it added.
(Reporting by Sarah Young, editing by James Davey)