Vodafone in Trouble

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR213
Case Length : 20 Pages
Pages Period : 2000-2006
Organization : Vodafone
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : UK, US and Japan
Themes : Globalization Strategies | Problems
Industry : Consumer Electronics

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Vodafone's Woes

In Europe: In 2002, the European Union (EU) adopted a new regulatory framework for the communications sector and asked its member states to implement it by July 24, 2003.

The new framework laid down guidelines for matters such as the objectives of the national regulatory authorities ('NRAs' of the member states), the method through which telecommunications operators were to be licensed, measures for protecting consumers, and ensuring the universal provision of certain telecommunications services and the terms and conditions that guided the way in which operators interconnected and provided access to each other. The new regulatory framework' s restrictions among various others included one on 'call termination rates' of mobile operators. Vodafone' s key market was Europe and the company claimed that this market had been affected by the new regulatory framework...

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After the impairment review, company shareholders pressured Sarin to sell the company's businesses in the US and Japan. According to them, Verizon used an incompatible wireless technology, CDMA, and hence provided very little economies of scale to the company.

They also pointed out that since Vodafone was only a minority partner in the venture, the company could not leverage on the benefits of its 'Vodafone' brand. However, despite the opposition from shareholders, Sarin said that he would retain Vodafone's stake in Verizon. He said, "We look at Verizon and our presence in the U.S. as an important asset to the company. The board reviews the Verizon situation from time to time. We'll continue to review."However, Sarin also said that he was not opposed to a future sale of Verizon whereby shareholders could gain the maximum benefits. Many analysts were of the view that Sarin sold Vodafone KK in order to calm the investors...


Exhibit I: Share Price Movement of Vodafone
Exhibit II: Vodafone's Logos
Exhibit III: Vodafone's Worldwide Mobile Telecommunications Businesses as of September 2000
Exhibit IV: Vodafone Group - Benefits of Scale
Exhibit V: An Overview of one Vodafone Program, 2005
Exhibit VI: Summary of Vodafone's Telecommunications Businesses as on March 31, 2005
Exhibit VII: Total Group Operating Profit/(Loss) of Vodafone Before Goodwill Amortization and Exceptional Items from 2000 to 2005
Exhibit VIII: Summary of Key Performance Indicators of Vodafone's Principal Markets in Europe
Exhibit IX: Operating Proft/Loss of Verizon Wireless from 2003 to 2005
Exhibit X: Market Shares of Wirelss Companies in the US in Early 2006
Exhibit XI: Summary of Key Performance Indicators for Vodafone's Japanese Market

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