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SK Telecom Denies Virgin Mobile Rumors

The Korean mobile operator is looking to expand in the U.S. and China as its domestic market reaches saturation

SK Telecom is not in talks for a specific deal with Virgin Mobile USA, downplaying speculation about a possible acquisition of the US operator, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report quoted a source familiar with the matter as saying that SK and Virgin Mobile USA are having preliminary talks on a deal.

Recent blog reports have said talks have included scenarios such as SK Telecom buying Virgin Mobile USA and combining it with Helio, SK's own US mobile service.

"We are considering various scenarios and tapping opportunities," said Mina Ryu, an SK spokeswoman. "But there is no specific negotiation going on."

Although SK is meeting other operators to discuss businesses, "What is going on is too early to call a negotiation," Ryu said.

"We are not ruling out any company and we have not set any specific target."

SK Telecom is looking to overseas markets such as China and the US as expansion becomes more difficult at home where more than 90% of Koreans have a mobile phone.

In November last year, SK Telecom said it had approached Sprint Nextel with several cooperation measures. Sources said Sprint Nextel had rejected a $5 billion investment by a group including SK.

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