Telefónica, Vodafone eye German fixed broadband provider

Telefónica and Vodafone are both revving up to bid for Hansenet, the German fixed-line broadband business owned by Telecom Italia, valued by USB at €1 billion ($1.33 billion), the Financial Times  reports.

Hansenet reported revenue of €1.2 billion for 2008, up 11%, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €238 million, down 15%, according to the FT.

Telecom Italia is considering selling the business as part of efforts to reduce its net debt of €34 billion. The move would also be a continuation of the general trend towards the consolidation of alternative fixed broadband suppliers in Europe.

If Telecom Italia sells Hansenet, it would continue the trend of consolidation between European fixed line broadband providers.

Telefónica's German fixed-line business already has a commercial relationship with Hansenet, for example, Hansenet uses Telefónica's German mobile network (O2) to offer its customers a wireless phone service.

Telefónica is also Telecom Italia's largest shareholder with 10%.