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Deutsche Telekom backs away from O2 counterbid

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Deutsche Telekom has ruled itself out of making a bid for O2, the telecoms giant confirmed today.

In a statement handed to Reuters, DT's top beancounter Karl-Gerhard Eick said: "Deutsche Telekom will not make a counterbid for O2. This would not be in the interests of our shareholders."

So that's that, then. Shares in O2 slipped 11.4p (5.46 per cent) in early trading this morning.

On Monday Spanish telco Telefonica announced that it planned to buy the O2 for £18bn as part of a strategic move to enter the UK and German markets.

Since then, speculation has mounted that DT might launch a counter offer that could spark a bidding war, although others believed DT would have been put off by the regulatory difficulties associated with such a deal. ®

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