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Vodafone shells out big bucks in buying spree

Milk, eggs, social networking site, German telephone company...

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Vodafone is having itself a bit of a shopping blowout. It's just spent €474m getting full control of German fixed-line provider Arcor, having splurged €31.5m on Friday getting itself a bit of Web 2.0 action by buying ZYB.

Vodafone already owned most of Arcor, but Deutsche Bahn AG and Deutsche Bank AG were hanging on to 26.4 per cent until now. The company provides fixed-line telephony, including 2.6 million broadband connections, and has a 14 per cent share of the German market.

Vodafone also shelled out cash on Friday for ZYB, even if it was relative Euro-peanuts.

ZYB is a shared-address-book service with excellent Web 2.0 credentials: no discernable income, lots of social networking and a business plan which revolves around getting bought by someone bigger.

As Vodafone's Internet Services Director, Pieter Knook, puts it: "This is Web 2.0 in action."

Both purchases are part of Vodafone's new-found commitment to "Total Communications" – a phrase that crops up at least twice in every Vodafone press release these days, almost as though it's trying to give the impression of having a coherent strategy.®

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