However, the deal was blocked by European competition authorities, which argued that the deal would reduce competition too much in the UK.
Telefonica is now said to be exploring other options for O2 such as a float on the stock market.
As well as operating mobile and fixed line networks such as fibre, Telefonica is also active in the emerging Internet of Things space.
The company is headed up by Cesar Alierta and worth $39.93 billion.
Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete Lopez
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