After being in a partnership for years, Verizon and Vodafone Group finally parted ways on their collaboration, Verizon Wireless. Vodafone, who owned 45 percent of the joint venture, sold it to Verizon proper for $130 billion in cash and stock. This leaves Verizon as the sole owner of Verizon Wireless: a goal they have had for a few years now with no help from Vodafone.
The transfer of power entirely to Verizon might well allow Verizon to offer more combined capabilities, such as bundling with landline, FiOS, etc. Last year, Verizon had mentioned the ability to offer "seamless and integrated services" following a complete ownership stake in VZW and had hoped for more financial flexibility, leading to more efficiencies in the company and, hopefully, more options for customers.
Vodafone, on the other hand, now has an influx of capital on its hands. Vodafone is known for investing in communications companies, such as VZW, and will probably use this newfound money to invest in new European companies. It is even possible they could invest in cable or landline companies, creating a scenario similar to the Verizon group they are leaving in the US.
The agreement to finally get out of the Verizon Wireless family might have to do with reports that AT&T has been in discussions to purchase Vodafone. AT&T representatives said last month that they had no intentions to enter into any agreement with Vodafone within the next 6 months, unless another bidder came forward. An AT&T-owned Vodafone would certainly never be allowed if Vodafone owned any of VZW.