T-Mobile has no lack of suitors, it’s just a matter of getting one to stick.
Today, rumors surfaced that it was Comcast that was in talks with Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent company, about potentially acquiring the third-largest carrier.
The rumor first surfaced in a German magazine, which cited sources familiar with the deal, according to Reuters. Deutsche Telekom reportedly views the U.S. cable giant as an attractive buyer because of its deep pockets, and for its ability to buy more shares from Deutsche Telekom rather than a small portion of it. The timing is also good since Comcast just walked away from buying Time Warner Cable for $45 billion due to regulatory concerns.
Still, that didn’t keep ArsTechnica from shooting down the likelihood of the merger.
It reports that a Comcast source is not interested in buying T-Mobile, and would rather resell Verizon Wireless services through a partnership it formed with the carrier back in 2012. Based on the terms of that deal, Comcast is allowed to start selling Verizon’s services under its own name beginning next year.
Regardless, there’s no shortage of companies visiting the German telecoms headquarters to run by various scenarios. The candidate most often mentioned is Dish Network, which for four years has shown interest in entering the wireless industry through some sort of tie-up with T-Mobile.
And if Dish doesn’t offer a partnership, there are others waiting in the wings for T-Mobile, as we’ve previously reported. American Movil, a venture owned by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, who also owns and operates the U.S. prepaid wireless carrier Tracfone, already has 25 million subscribers in the U.S., who are mostly on the AT&T network. Those could be moved over to the T-Mobile network.
One factor that would be smart for T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom to take into account when picking a buyer is which company makes for a better cultural fit. The Bellevue-based carrier, led by the charismatic John Legere, has quickly built up a strong reputation for being the “uncarrier,” by doing things contrary to industry standards. Customers may have a hard time swallowing that message if a company, like Comcast, which has a bad reputation for customer service, were to buy it.
Stay tuned as there are sure to be many more chapters on this one before we’ve hit the end.