Vodafone and Cingular clash on AT&T bid

Vodafone Group and Cingular Wireless have started a bidding war for AT&T WIreless, which could take another two weeks to resolve.

Vodafone Group and Cingular Wireless have started a bidding war for AT&T WIreless, which could take another two weeks to resolve.

Both companies had put in similar bids of around $35bn each.

Bidding had been due to close last Friday, and sources close to the situation said a decision could be expected soon, but AT&T Wireless may now seek a second round of offers from the companies.

Nextel Communications and NTT DoCoMo did not enter bids.

Vodafone has a 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, the largest mobile company in the US. If its AT&T bid proved successful, it would have to relinquish its Verizon stake.

Cingular is a joint venture between SBC Communications and BellSouth,  and is the second largest mobile phone company in the US.

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