Following rumours that executives were meeting for discussions, Vodafone has confirmed in a brief statement that Verizon is in talks to buy Alltel, the statement reads:

"Vodafone confirms that Verizon Wireless is in advanced discussions
regarding the potential acquisition of Alltel Corp. There is no
assurance that a transaction will be forthcoming."

Vodafone owns a 45% stake in Verizon Wireless with the other 55% owned by Verizon Communications.

If Verizon Wireless bought Alltel - for a rumoured price tag of around $27 billion - the merged company would become the States' top wireless operator, overtaking AT&T.