Correction: Verizon Wireless-Distribution story

Associated Press

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (AP) -- In a story May 13 about Verizon Wireless paying a $7 billion dividend to its parent companies, Verizon Communications and Vodafone, The Associated Press incorrectly reported the sum as $7 million in the story's headlines.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Verizon Wireless to make $7 billion payout to owners

Verizon Wireless to pay $7 billion dividend to parents Verizon Communications and Vodafone

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (AP) -- Verizon Wireless said Monday that it will pay a $7 billion dividend to its owners, Verizon Communications and Vodafone PLC.

Verizon Wireless, based in Basking Ridge, N.J., is the country's largest cellphone carrier with more than 98 million wireless customers.

In 2012, Verizon Wireless paid a $10 billion dividend and another $8.5 billion dividend to its owners, after ending a policy of using its cash to pay down debt.

Vodafone, a British cellphone company with wide international interests, owns 45 percent of the carrier. But until last year, Vodafone hadn't received any cash from the U.S. carrier in years. New York-based Verizon Communications owns the other 55 percent of Verizon Wireless and controls its operations. Analysts had seen the earlier strategy of debt reduction at Verizon Wireless as a way to squeeze Vodafone and persuade it to sell its stake to Verizon.

Verizon Communications has a long-standing interest in buying out its partner, but so far, hasn't found a formula that it can afford and Vodafone will accept.

The $7 billion payout will be made on June 25th, with Verizon Communications getting $3.85 billion and Vodafone receiving $3.15 billion.

Shares of Verizon Communications fell 34 cents to close at $52.55 on Monday. Vodafone rose 46 cents to close at $29.66.