Deutsche Telekom transfers T-Mobile US stake to holding company in the Netherlands [Update: Sprint gets bank financing proposals ]

Deutsche Telekom

Reuters reports today that Deutsche Telekom has transferred its controlling stake in T-Mobile US to a holding company in theNetherlands. DT owns around 67% of the #4 US carrier, and this move will do nothing to kill rumors of a possible buyout.

Rumors have persisted for a few months now that Sprint could be lining up a buyout bid for T-Mobile. This particular merger/takeover is allegedly being fueled by Softbank’s CEO, the same man who pushed through the deal to buy-out Sprint earlier in the year. Deutsche Telekom denies these reports, stating that this move to a holding company should be viewed only as a way of simplifying its organization.

However, it is hard not to speculate. Analyst Walter Piecyk of BTIG states that “The Netherlands offers favorable tax treatment on asset sales.” As a comparison, Vodafone Group still holds its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless in the Netherlands. The idea being to have a “very tax-efficient transaction” once VZW completes its buy-out of Voda’s stake.

Of course, there are obstacles in regards to the rumored Sprint buyout. One of which is that it could never turn in to reality. The other is the regulatory bodies. They may have reservations about two of America’s 4 major carriers merging and becoming one company. On the other hand, we’ve also read reports that Softbank can’t afford for the deal to go sour, as it doesn’t have the cash to pay any compensation to T-Mobile if the deal isn’t completed.

What do you think? Can this deal go through? Are DT’s moves just another indication that it wants to sell T-Mobile, and isn’t too fussed who to?

[UPDATE: A snippet of information to add from Yahoo Finance/WSJ. Looks like Sprint/Softbank is preparing to get the cash together to take control of Tmo: 

Sprint (S) now has confidence that a deal for T-Mobile (TMUS) can be funded, as at least two banks have come forth with proposals on how to finance a takeover of its smaller rival, says the Wall Street Journal. Terms of the proposals have not been worked out but sources say that the proposals envision a total “enterprise value” of about $50B for the deal, which would be comprised of $31B for T-Mobile and another $20B to backstop a refinancing of existing T-Mobile debt, added the Wall Street Journal.

Although rumors aren’t a guarantee that any deal is happening (or not happening), the saying “no smoke without fire” seems apt at this point.]

Via: Reuters
Update via: Yahoo!

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  • rfgenerator

    What’s that I hear??? Beep, Beep, Beep, oh yeah it’s the DT Dumptruck backing up preparing to unload T-Mobile USA. By Valentines Day the sale will be announced.. Only questions is will the sale be approved, wouldn’t be surprised if it is this time around. The New Improved T-Mobile, we hardly knew ye.

    • JBLmobileG1

      If Tmobile is sold, I will use my jump to the cheapest phone possible, then leave. This way I still won’t be paying off my Note 2… Instead I would pay less on a piece of crap phone.

      • Wire

        Bye.

        • JBLmobileG1

          Your crazy if you’d want to be a Sprint customer in anyway, shape, or form. And if so, why not just leave Tmobile now and flock to the big yellow, dodo bird. Save yourself the time.

      • superg05

        i think its a good plan very smart actually

  • sublimedavid

    Poop…. they should be called dousche telekom

  • TrueCopy

    From the (far, far) outside, it looks like transferring assets to a holding company is a great way to prepare for a merger… or some other kind of ownership transfer.

    The problem with not having contracts is that TMo, under new ownership, can switch things up at any time. Of course, the good thing about no contracts is we can also leave at any time.

    • UMA_Fan

      Has that really ever happened in the industry? You just answered your own concern, people can leave anytime. It just wouldn’t be smart for them to materially change anything. The risk of people leaving would be too high. What could they possibly have to gain in ANY change to offset that risk? Think this through guys.

      • fsured

        They stand to gain billions at a time when DT’s other operations are not doing well. That is money they need to pay down debt in their European operations and it is no secret they want to improve those asset on their home turf. They also won’t be taking as big of a loss if the sale goes through by breaking even on the 50 billion they spent to purchase the company years ago. They would have taken a loss with At&t but were desperate. Throw enough money at any company and you will have share holders seeing $$$ and want to consider the proposal. Money is a defining factor in how people live. Since businesses are “people” then money is a huge factor in how they live.

  • vrm

    What about this – DT denying selling ?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/deutsche-telekom-denies-rushing-unload-t-mobile-onto-192022010.html

    It appears to me that the dooshbags on W.S. are bullying DT/tmo to sell out and die so that verizon and sprint can be protected.

    • just me

      DT denied that they were selling T-Mobile back in 2011 to- a month or two before they announced they were selling to AT&T. I don’t want it to happen either, but this is pretty clear evidence.

    • bob90210

      If you read DT’s statement, they are not denying the merger. “does not affect the actual stake in the companies. And there is no connection at all to any possible M&A moves” does not say anything. It’s the equivalent of asking your kids if they ate the cookies and they replied that they were not hungry.

    • twicetheprice

      Seems the Wall Street douchebags want TMobile to sell to Sprint in hopes of getting rid of all of the Uncarrier stuff so their pricing and profits go back to insane levels.

      it’s Wall Street caring about themselves instead of the consumer.

  • Mark Reese

    On hell no…. well ok yes even before reading the full article I was thinking they would sell based on the title of this article. Of course they will sale we just have to wait for the announcement and PRAY that its VODAPHONE.

    • TylerCameron

      You want Vodafone to own T-Mobile US? Vodafone has a world empire, and that needs to extend to the US as well? :p

  • Mark Reese

    I bet that T mobile becomes a prepaid arm of sprint. Just go back and look at articles were Johnny boy says that even if tmobile is apart of a merger it would be hard to get rid of the tmobile structure because of the no contract approach, now that I think about it it would make it easier. Because if you don’t like the new plans move on. They’ve spent the last year getting a big chunk of people of contracts and upgrading their phone every six months. T mobile will be retired and we will all be known as the new Nextel brand.

    • UMA_Fan

      That doesn’t make any sense. If you were Softbank and you woke up one day owning both Sprint and T-Mobile. Based on their affect on he industry today which one would you keep and which one would you fold?

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        Fold sprint

        • Bearxor

          You’re insane.

        • yeah right

          People are much more excited about Tmobile right now than Sprint. Heck by December of this year (2014) Tmobile will have more customers than Sprint.

        • Bearxor

          So that’s the qualification for which one? Which one the public is more excited about?

        • fsured

          Dominic is saying the public is more excited about T-Mobile and showing it by signing up for service with the company in huge numbers. The public is responding positively to changes T-Mobile has made to their business model and causing the other companies to respond by offering similar changes. His claim that T-Mobile will have more customers than Sprint and the public enthused reaction to what the company has done is the qualification to fold Sprint into T-Mobile. T-Mobile right now is the little engine that could rising from grave that mainstream know it all’s thought the company was in.

        • Ae Tee

          Sprint has a universally bad reputation. They are known for lousy service and slow speeds. Please, tell me that I’m wrong.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          You’re insane in the membrane

  • Mark Reese

    Welcome to Nextel Mobile news .com formerly T-Mobile news .com

  • sidekicker89

    What I’m worried about is if something does get announced and the whole process will take so long it’ll interfere with the 600 Mhz auction. T-Mobile won’t be allowed to bid during the time it takes the Government to approve or deny the deal just like how it was with AT&T. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Serge

      It’s more likely that the auction will be delayed again.

    • philyew

      We’re probably still at least 15-18 months away from the 600MHz auction, based on the comment from the FCC last month. It’s unlikely that a takeover would run that long without it being clear what the outcome was to be.

  • UMA_Fan

    People should also keep in mind a lot of these wall street guys have a lot of money on the line when it comes to the success of att and Verizon. Anything that fuels the negative perception of their greatest threat right now (Tmobile) is good business for them.

    DT could sell and they could not. Either way form a regulatory stand point the only way to ‘sell’ this to the government is that the smaller Tmobile swallows Sprint and becomes stronger. Knocking Tmobile out of the competing market just simply won’t fly.

  • Gmov58r

    Sprint can’t buy/merge or anything with T-MOBILE, Obama administration, FCC & DOJ wants four national carries!!! That’s the bottom line!

    • UMA_Fan

      I don’t think its even about the four but Sprint knocking out a competitor that has had true effect on the industry? Government will sue on antitrust grounds easily. I’m pretty sure all these executives know this that’s why John Legree said at CES the Tmobile brand and attitude will prevail.

  • Moby

    By the time the merger is completed, Sprint will have completed its Network Vision build out. T-Mobile customers will be thrilled at moving to a much better network for just a slight increase in the monthly service charge.

    T-Mobile customers will also get discounts on devices again instead of having to pay full retail price.

    • thepanttherlady

      No, thank you.

    • cure92

      yer killin’ me smalls!

    • Roger Sales

      Uh, hell no.

    • D Nice

      You sir are talking some major noise or fool talk as my father would say.

    • pops87

      Ugh. Boo this man!!!

    • yeah right

      and pigs will fly.

    • thatguy

      Oh you mean “”DISCOUNTS””…/wink /wink… and “”MUCH BETTER”…again…/wink/wink. “Network Vision”…all lies upon lies upon lies. Sprint is garbage, lets face the reality of the situation. the illusion of a discount wont fool consumers anymore, especially current tmobile customers who know the truth. 2 year contract, ha, ill buy a freaking go-phone before i ever sign another contract for a phone. what a joke.

    • princedannyb

      I think this guy just posted this to get our reactions. People these days…. Go away moby and take spit (oops i ment sprint) and their dial up speeds and spoty spanky (spark) network with you.

    • Ae Tee

      How long has this Network Vision been going on? Sprint doesn’t even have a national footprint and they play themselves as a national carrier. At least T-Mo is honest that they are an (sub)urban carrier at their core. Network Vision keeps getting pushed back and I haven’t heard about any real improvement for Sprint customers. It’s a failure at the moment. It will be many many years before Sprint actually has fiber backhaul to their towers where improvements will start to show.

      • Moby

        Softbank has only owned Sprint for a short time. Under their guideline, Sprint will carry out the Network Vision plan to to consolidate multiple network technologies into one new, seamless network with the goal of increasing efficiency and enhancing network coverage, call quality and data speeds for customers across the United States.

        Once they merge with T-Mobile they will combine all of T-Mobile’s spectrum and resources into Network Vision as well making it the superior network in the U.S. Exciting times certainly are ahead for T-Mobile customers.

        • Bklynman

          Mr.Ceo of Sprint, what is the color of the sky in your world?Is it yellow?

    • Bklynman

      Someone didn’t take there meds today.

    • fsured

      Doesn’t Sprint charge a premium to access their “faster” network? They did when they had WiMax or whatever it was called. So we would pay higher rates as it is and then another charge just to access the “faster” network. And you miss the point of paying for the phone at full retail. It saves money toward the end of a 2yr period when the math is done. The savings do not show up right away. This point has been proven already when T-Mobile first switched to this style of selling phones.

  • sushimane

    I’m taking everything with a grain of salt. Maybe DT is putting their share of T-Mobile us to the holding company for the reverse metropcs merger this year? Haha but the merger or buyout of T-Mobile is a no go with the government they see that T-Mobile is making the cellphone industry competitive now taking their share of the big 3 customers and that’s what they want. I’m crossing my fingers nothing is gonna happen with them.

    • Gmov58r

      Excatly, T-MOBILE has always started a revolution first with HTC & GOOGLE they introduce Android, now the UNCARRIER brand is doing the same plus being competitive. Loyal to T-Mobile since the G1.

      • sushimane

        Yeah me too

  • Roger Sales

    If the taxes in the Netherlands are more favorable, it could also be just about saving money from doing actual taxes and not selling. T-Mobile has been all about trimming the fat from their budget line, I wouldn’t sound the alarm just yet.

    • Durandal_1707

      The taxes there are favorable for selling.

  • anon

    Is Vodafone buying the US unit from DT? If so, we are screwed up as AT&T is still interested to buy Vodafone!

  • TechHog

    And you guys called me pessimistic. It’s all over. The Uncarrier dream is dead.

    • S. Ali

      Merger ain’t happening. FCC won’t let it.

      • Bill

        Sure it will. John Legere has stated that even if a merger occurs T-Mobile brand and attitude will live on. TMO has also said they’d take Dish’s spectrum and help set the. Up as a national carrier. This wayThe merger goes through with Sprint disappearing into TMO and the FCC gets to keep 4 national carriers.

        • fsured

          I have an issue with John’s words and how it is treated as fact. He is a smart man and people can read into words way to much. T-Mobile’s brand and attitude living on doesn’t necessarily mean that would happen as a stand alone company. What if his meaning behind the words was meant as T-Mobile will live on in memories and US cellular industry history for the ripple effect it has caused?

          My point is don’t trust everything someone says. People use syntax all the time to convey double meanings. Even if he doesn’t want the sale of the company to happen, it is not his decision to make.

      • TechHog

        It doesn’t matter. Even if the FCC blocks it, it’ll be months before they do, and during those months T-Mobile will sit around doing nothing. No matter what happens, the Uncarrier is dead.

  • taron19119

    Im going to look at it like this if DT invest any money into T Mobile then DT is not going to sale but if no money is invested in t-mobile then T-mobile is for sale

  • Nick Cannon

    Wouldn’t mind Tmob getting a few billion more for another failed merger :)

    • Danny Lewis

      I no longer look at T-Mobile as the 4th largest carrier. They are the largest pro-customer carrier. If something does happen, we should all let the FCC know that this merger will end the US’s largest pro-people carrier.

      • Joseph Tongret

        I’m sure that the FCC will be taking into consideration the recent attempts Tmo has been making to restructure the age old model of two year contracts in the US mobile market. It’s proven with numbers to be thus far successful, and if it’s promoting a more even level of competition amongst the big four, and giving consumers an alternative option that’s forcing the larger carriers to freeze any rise in the cost of service, then the FCC “shouldn’t” approve anything that will have a negative effect on it. It’s my understanding that the FCC ‘s responsibility is to govern the mobile carriers so that there will be no risk of monopoly, and it seems that the AT&T merger was denied because they felt that only three carriers may jeopardize competitiveness. This all makes me think that the FCC probably wouldn’t approve a sale of any one of the major carriers by another, but I’ve come to realize that all matters boil down to politics in the US that seem to trump everything, and with the right political motives anything can happen with or without logic? Tmo has really set off sparks in the wireless world recently in a way I’ve never seen, and I’d hate to see it halted before we have the chance to see if it could actually change the industry that’s come to disgust so many of us in its current outdated state. A carrier as large and loaded as Verizon could simply purchase Tmo and abolish them to avoid any disruption in its profits if it were that simple, and that’s why it’s not supposed to be I assume? So if this purchase would be able to gain approval I would hope that it would be with conditions that would prevent any change in the direction Tmo has been headed. If they continue to operate under Tmo’s “Uncarrier” business model, combining with Sprint could make them a much bigger threat to AT&T and Verizon, but I’d be afraid that Sprint would really be the carrier in power and I have VERY little faith in the people who’ve been calling the shots over there!

  • Mark Reese

    Even if the tmobile brand is much more loved… businesses usually go with the one that has the most subscribers and makes the most money…. stop down voting me because I state the facts.

  • KlausWillSeeYouNow

    DIIIIIIIIIIISSHHHHH

    WHERE ARE YOU

    AAARRRGGH

    Charlie Ergen better wake the hell up! And fast! :-O We can’t afford Sprint’s poor leadership!

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Thats what im saying Dish better swoop in asap. Sprint/Softbank isnt playing around here.

      • KlausWillSeeYouNow

        I know.

        Haha the one downvote is Sprint. :-)

      • KlausWillSeeYouNow

        You know what, though? I’ve come to the realization that Sprint can’t buy T-Mobile. The DOJ won’t allow it. So Dish is playing it smart – they’re the only possible buyer.

        We can breathe easier for a while. Ergen knows what he’s doing.

  • Zach Mauch

    I want them to try because there is no way in hell it will go through. The public outcry will be just as big as when AT&T attempted this and T-Mobile WILL get a big cash settlement. All of this ammounts to another capital investment into T-Mobile and better service for ME!!!!

    • i would lead the damn charge. no way in hell i’d stay with any company even remotely associated with Sprint much less owned by.

    • Joseph Tongret

      Didn’t Verizon call foul over the Tmo and AT&T merger, and plead to the FCC that it would have an anticompetitive effect? I would think AT&T this time would be kicking up all sorts of dust to prevent anything that could promote the uncarrier model they obviously hate!

      • fsured

        AT&T could be in a position to benefit. This would take out the little pest that is messing with their world majorly. A good number of T-Mobile customers would jump ship and take their phones over to AT&T prepaid.

  • philyew

    While this move offers positive tax benefits to DT in the event of a sale, what is the impact if nothing changes for the foreseeable future? Are DT risking anything by making this move? It’s unlikely.

    Whichever way DT chooses to move forward, they will be free to sell all or part of their holding in TMUS before the end of this calendar year when the 18-month sale restriction runs out. Preparing for that position now, if it will take time to establish their position in the Netherlands, is the correct business move.

    My point is that this move in itself doesn’t increase the likelihood of a sale taking place. All it means is that DT are probably in discussions with one or more parties and that a sale is possible.

    So what’s new? We’ve been in that situation since 2011.

  • JJ

    “If Sprint combined with T-Mobile, “you’d have the slow mover taking out the fast mover — why would they allow that?” said Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics based in Dedham,Massachusetts.”

  • JJ

    Based on What The FCC said last year we know they are not on Sprint side. “T-Mobile is using cheaper plans to gain customers from larger rivals, helping create the kind of competition the Justice Department sought more than two years ago when it sued to keep the company from being gobbled up by AT&T Inc. (T), the industry No. 2 behind Verizon Wireless.”

  • JJ

    It doesn’t take an analyst to understand this. This deal won’t get by the FCC.

    “The Justice Department argued in challenging AT&T’s proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile in August 2011 that reducing the mobile market from four to three national players would limit competition and lead to higher prices for consumers.”

    • Chris

      The only difference is that this isn’t a full buy out. Just 67% of it. There will still be 4 but two owned by one parent company. Sister companies happen all the time.

      • fsured

        So you are implying that Softbank would allow Sprint and T-Mobile to function as two separate entities? I could be in favor of this and stated it previously IF they truly left T-Mobile to function on it’s own like DT is doing. DT owns the majority of the company but it’s on it’s own. If Sprint can’t compete then that is their issue with Sprint to fix. This would still keep 4 national carriers like the government wants and T-Mobile can continue as is. Softbank would pull in revenue from T-Mobile and if Sprint does get their network in shape, then they can pull in revenue from them and let the free market determine which network customers want.

        My experience with “sister” companies has not been ideal though. Eastern Airlines and Continental, Sirius and XM which lead to doubling my rates and eventual cancellation of service, no sir. They can own the company but keep their fingers out of it and let it do it’s own thing. There is the constant assurance that customers from the purchased company will not see a difference in service but that is bull chips. Banks say that crap all the time and months later services or other perks disappear that customers got from the original institution. My free WAMU checking account became free only with a certain balance or direct deposits after Chase took it over.

        What Softbank wants and desperately needs form T-Mobile is the infrastructure the company has built. That would be an instant boost to Sprint and there is no denying Sprints infrastructure is in shambles. It would save them huge sums but is the 50billion figure truly worth that? AT&T wanted T-Mobile to immediately boost their network from the crap it was and exposed by the Iphone. Their HSPA+ network couldn’t compete with T-Mobile then and it can’t now. T-Mobile does not need Sprint. Softbank needs T-Mobile to shore up Sprint faster.

        • chardog

          Sister companies? Nobody’s going to let a foreign entity own two major carriers and operate them separately.. Complete conflict of interest.

          Sprint can’t do anything with their network. They keep setting due dates for their upgrades and then postponing them. In reality, they sold their network infrastructure to a third party several years ago for a cash infusion and are, in essence, leasing it back.

        • fsured

          I don’t see it happening either but I would favor this option far more than Softbank leaving Sprint in charge and reverting the trends Magenta has created.

        • xmiro

          nicely summed

      • xmiro

        how’s the brand going to continue when it’s basically DT’s name and colors?

        stranger things have happened

  • rfgenerator

    For those who don’t think this will get by the Justice Department, don’t bet on it. Obama has been increasingly Corporate friendly, just look at what has been leaked about what he is willing to give away in the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that’s being worked out. That aside it’s increasingly likely that the GOP will control the Senate and the House after the 14 elections putting more pressure on the White House. Don’t know what happens in 16 but if any of the top GOP candidates win the White House a deal like this would be approved in a heartbeat. All of this is just a side effect of the corporate corruption of our democracy regardless of party.

    • nycplayboy78

      AMEN….Thank you for bring up the TPP…We ALL need to know more about it….

  • S. Ali

    Who the hell is giving Sprint information that the FCC and DOJ would allow this merger to go through? Do you know how much spectrum and towers you could build for 50B!!

    • Wire

      God

    • SouthernBlackNerd

      This is why I do not get the merger. It is like merging for the sake of merging. It makes very little sense except for scale, but even then, Sprint uses CDMA/LTE/TD-LTE on 800/1900/2600 while TMUS uses GSM/WCDMA/LTE on 1900/2100. Plus the FCC would force them to divest at least 50% of their total spectrum holdings to Vz/T.

      The smarter move for Sprint would be copy uncarrier( like the rest of the industry), build out their spark network, and use the 31 billion to buy up smaller carrier for coverage. They would almost instantly be more formidable against T/Vz with much nicer balance sheet.

      • Chris

        A lot of people are saying it’s a merger. But what if it isn’t a merger? But just Softbank protecting its butt by investing money on a company that is growing. With their money and interest they can make T-Mobile one of the best carriers in terms of coverage.

        • I see your point. If the two were to merge, it would only make sense to take the Stronger brand name and at this moment in time, that’s T-Mobile and it’s business structure it’s created in the past two years. Still… it’s hard to say what Softbank’s intentions are trying to get a hold of T-Mobile… I hope they’re not buying Magenta to dismantle it and take all of its spectrum. = /

        • fsured

          This wouldn’t be done for spectrum and Sprint would probably have to give up spectrum in any approval deal with the FCC or DOJ. They own more than the other 3 major companies.

        • I’m aware of Sprint’s spectrum holdings, then why do you think they want to buy T-Mobile in your opinion?

        • fsured

          They want the towers and back haul the company has set up in the major 50-100 markets in the country. They want the infrastructure and hardware technology the company has already set up with their LTE network. It is newer and more advanced than any other company in the US right now. We already have HD voice and everything is close to set for LTE-Advanced when the company is ready to launch.

          If people who support this deal and are constantly saying T-Mobile being GSM and Sprint being CDMA is not an issue and Sprint is moving to GSM anyway with LTE, then this is a huge boon for Sprint. They just take over the hardware or use the towers with back haul and replace the hardware with their own for “Spark” . Then use their original towers for regular LTE since that is different than “spark”. This deal does nothing for T-Mobile except hand a shyte ton of money into the accounts of DT, executives, and stockholders.

          What do you think will happen to the sales reps in stores, phone support, network engineers, and just regular employee’s who go to do their job but will face severance packages and a pink slip because they need to trim down the workforce after merging both companies. This is about Softbank having blundered with Sprint and needing the fix T-Mobile can supply. They are offering DT an even break with the 50 billion since they spent that much to purchase T-Mobile. They are trying the same tactic AT&T did by offering so much money executives and share holders can’t say no. They see the $$$ and if the company suffers like it did during the AT&T limbo, what do they care if the sale happens.

          You asked my opinion, that is it.

        • Stone Cold

          I agree I like being able to know my store reps and they know my needs when I walk in the door. Softbank is driving up so much debt I don’t even understand why anyone would consider financing this deal.

      • Alex Zapata

        Technically speaking, TMO uses 1900MHz and 1700/2100MHz. But the spectrum issue would still be there regardless.

  • Flyincloud

    Time to get the protest going just like with the AT&T deal!

    • Gmov58r

      Definitely agree with that!

  • JBLmobileG1

    I really hope Tmobile isn’t seriously going to try and be bought out again. If this happens for a second time and it fails, I can almost guarantee Tmobile will fail and NEVER recover from it, mark my words. Why? Because no one will ever trust them again, I being one of the first. Makes me wonder if this news, even in a rumor state, has already affected Tmobile’s stock and slowed down their plans at taking customers from other carriers. I mean seriously… who in their right mind, knowing that Sprint of all carriers, may buy out Tmobile. I would rather stick with another carrier even if the other’s are overpriced. Heck, Iwould rather see Dish buy Tmobile rather than Sprint, but the way things are going for Tmobile now, they would be morons to screw it up for themselves and sell what they’ve built back up. Maybe it’s all one big joke…. alright…. who bet the dollar?

    • philyew

      We are at least two years away from Sprint or anyone else being able to inflict any real damage on TM by becoming owner.

      Any current customer or anyone joining now will be doing so without a contract to fulfill. If the situation after the takeover is unacceptable, people can leave without penalty and will maybe be out part of the cost of a phone. In the mean time, the will have saved way more in lower service charges.

      People can stay, or join and enjoy the fruits of Uncarrier, for at least a couple of years. They can fight the takeover, if it proceeds, through sensible campaigning to the federal authorities. If in the end the campaign fails and they are faced with tangibly worse conditions, they can take their business elsewhere. Why act prematurely and deny oneself the immediate benefits of Uncarrier?

    • xmiro

      Trust?

      It’s the job of the company making the offer to study the regulatory conditions and decide if they can push it trough or not

      AT&T lied the whole time, paid third parties to carry their water, even though it was painfully obvious the merger should not happen. And in the end the DOJ was clear what it wanted

    • Stone Cold

      It isn’t Sprint it is the Parent company Softbank. But I still cannot see this deal happening.

  • Bklynman

    I might have read this wrong,if please correct me someone who knows for sure,I believe read someone comment,that DT can’t sell,Tmo for another 18months or is the that time already over,just how long will this process will take? 2yrs,3yrs? Also
    if I read right Metopcswill be gone by 2015,if so that means Tmo will 8-10 million more cutomers,let’s say by the end of 2014 they add another 3 millions. Now I read Tmo has anywhere between 46-49 million right now,now let’s add that all up.
    Let’s go with ther higher number,49+3+10=62 millions. Sprints 54 millions.
    Let’s say they add anther 3 million in 2015,65million. Now doyou really think the FCC,DOJ,will let smaller company take over comany that is bigger,now don’t forget
    Att,is not just going to sit there and watch this happen. 62+54=116 million customers,they have ever right to complain about this. Now Tmo/Spint is bigger than Big red,and the death star,own by a compny from another country. Anyone believes this wil happen, I have a bridge to sell in Bklyn.

    • philyew

      They can’t sell their holdings piecemeal until 18 months has elapsed from the MetroPCS deal going through. They can, however, sell their complete holding in a single deal at any time (subject to federal approval).

      They are already counting MetroPCS customers in their current numbers. MetroPCS operates as a division of TM, not as a separate company. The published plan is to wind up that division next year, but that might change, I guess.

    • fsured

      Smaller companies have purchased their larger rivals before. I think it is the nations 5th largest cable company is trying to entice Time Warner into a purchase deal. I think US Airways was the smaller company and they purchased American Airlines and kept the American Airlines name when customers and industry to do’s considered the service horrid with planes that are outdated. I’ve seen talk from people here that Metropcs will go away but I have not read a report on it. T-Mobile is using the company name as a prepaid carrier and expanding the Metropcs footprint into new markets. The customers the company had are already in T-Mobiles count of 46-49 million. There is no second boost of Metro customers coming except those the company gains going day forward. What is going way is the Metropcs CDMA network. That might have you confused thinking the company itself is shutting down.

      • Encino Stan

        Smaller companies have purchased their larger rivals before.
        Yep. Like when SBC bought (and took the name of) AT&T. [Baby Bell buys Mother Bell.]

      • JimInChicago

        Smaller Continental Airlines purchased United Airlines. It’s Continental now in every way including logo, except the United name and the HQ moved to Chicago.

        Maybe we’ll see Sprint become T-Mobile down to the color pink–except they will keep the Sprint name.

    • xmiro

      Correct DT cannot divest itself of the share they acquired when they bought MetroPCS for 18 months. Unless there’s a loophole somewhere in the agreement

      The MetroPCS network will be gone by 2015, the spectrum they use now for CDMA will be repurposed for T-Mobile, the brand will probably remain.

      Metro customers are already using the T-mobile network

      • fsured

        The loop hole is a total sale of the company. No partial ownership deals. It’s an all or nothing transaction until the 18 months are up.

  • Warden

    This will only work if John Legere and T-mobile are in control of Sprint and not the other way around. We all know what happened when Sprint got Nextel.

    • Alex Zapata

      Poor Nextel. They were so cool back in the day. Only sprint could ruin that.

      • Danny Lewis

        Sprint held onto them for the longest time. Just think if they shutdown their IDEN network two years earlier to get that nice 850Mhz spectrum.

        • Alex Zapata

          These are very true words.

        • Rey Paramore

          Sprint was forced to keep Nextel running because of an agreement with the government, also it needed time to draft new plans for the usage of the 800Mhz band Nextel used. Not until recently was the 800Mhz band approved by FCC for use of wireless technology other than IDEN. A lot of Sprint and T-Mobile’s growth was slow simply because of the government and rules. Lets not forget how the government made T-Mobile last to the 3G table using the AWS band for far longer than they should have.

        • superg05

          yes lets deregulate here’s a gun put it to your head

  • Aurizen

    Guys remember, John Legere said he’s open to a deal if its right for tmobile to continue to shake up the industry. If the deal respects what tmobile is about then its all good and T-mobile will benefit. Also if the doesn’t go through… T-Mobile will benefit like AT&T and sprint will lose so much.

    • longtimeCustomer

      That all sounds nice and I wish it were true but I think it might be naive. I don’t really think John Legere really gives a flying cr*p about anything other than getting his job done and the reputation that follows. He is known for getting companies ready for sale.

      One thing about getting everyone off contract is that it makes it easier to change their rates or plans should it arise which I suspect it is about to.

      • Aurizen

        We all know the deal wont go through, that’s just not gonna happen..I think John cares and is revolutionize the industry. He’s far from finished. and what I said earlier I stick by it. It wont be sold if Sprint wont respect what T-mobile is about.

    • xmiro

      uh… kitten… John Legere is employed at the pleasure of Detusche Telecom, they are the decider. Legere has no control, if DT wants to command him they can

      • Jay J. Blanco

        DT is not the only majority shareholder in T-Mobile

        • xmiro

          they own 64-70% of the shares :)

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Another company own 1.1 Mil shares

        • philyew

          There can only be one majority shareholder by definition…

  • Jason Crumbley

    If this is a deal where T-Mobile is bought, but swallows the company that bought it, I might be ok with this. Otherwise, Sprint cant suck a fat one.

    • UMA_Fan

      Seems like the only chance it would have to pass government approval anyway

  • princedannyb

    Can someone explain to me why DT wants out of the US market so bad? I can understand why they wanted out back in 2011, but with the recent success I just dont get it. If I were them, I would be investing in tmo.

    • fsured

      One reason was the cost required to bring T-Mobile up to 4g speeds. The company did not want to spend the required money to make this happen which lead to the AT&T attempt. DT is also having troubles in Europe with their other telecom assets. They are mounting debt and want to fix what is in their backyard even though T-Mobile USA is and has been pulling in revenue.

    • xmiro

      because they dropped the ball with worse than half-assed management of T-Mobile US for years – they didn’t bid on 700Mhz, failed to acquire Nextel and grab some low-band spectrum, their phone selection was the worst for years.

      Even with that T-Mobile US was profitable always and made money, but DT management was completely inept in looking forward at what’s to come like 3G and 4G

      They couldn’t hack it in the UK either and aren’t doing so well the rest of their footprint

      So they’re hoping to get some money to spend on the rest of their failing businesses hoping to get out of the hole they dug themselves in

  • trife

    Joining up with Dish sounds more and more appealing every single time these Sprint rumors pop up.

    • jdubtrey

      DT wants this merger too. Getting bought out by dish doesn’t make a strong #3

      • KP

        Wont allow three. DOJ wants to keep four and by doing a deal with Dish accomplishes this and opens the door for easy approval.

        • jdubtrey

          The first is possible, though it seems the DT and Softbank will try to convince the fed that the #4 carrier (whoever it is) will always be struggling to survive. The tenor of fed decision for ATT+TMo was that 4 carriers are necessary for competition. They may relent and allow 3 and 4 to make a stronger #3. One former federal official who reviewed the ATT+TMo merger said this is not a slam dunk to be rejected.

          A M&A with Dish still leaves 4 players and would be a completely different transaction.

    • Ae Tee

      The only merger than makes sense because of Dish’s nationwide AWS licenses.

  • james

    How about they leave tmobile alone I wish tmobile would by us cellular now that I could get behind I hate sprint

    • james

      Not sure but so much government regulations would be my guess over spectrum

    • jdubtrey

      According to the wsj article, dT wants this as much as Softbank.

      I think that’s what many fail to acknowledge when looking at TMo. If TMo liked where things were going, they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to leave this role as the scrappy, progressive , game-changing carrier.

      • fsured

        It has been known that DT wants to sell T-Mobile USA to focus on it’s networks in Europe since the At&t attempt. Even afterwards when they got the break up fee they still had no intention to fully remain here. We know a sale or merger would happen eventually but the issue that has people in a tuff is the company that wants to take over, Softbank/Sprint. If it were some other outside entity or other major telecom company then there would likely be more support from the customers who care. Another company may be willing to allow T-Mobile and it’s current management to continue on their track. We don’t see Sprint adopting the business structure of T-Mobile or they would have done it by now given the success it has proven to be. Would the parent company, Softbank, have the CEO and other management of Sprint step aside to allow the new company to be run by T-Mobile?

        • jdubtrey

          However, the main benefit in merging with Sprint is eliminating a competitor. Your other potential partners wouldn’t address that.

          The wsj article states that DT wants this is much as Softbank. Even if TMo’s campaigns and philosophies do survive, they aren’t going to be as motivated to break new ground if their chief competitor in the value space no longer exists.

          I just think people are directing their concerns in the wrong direction. This isn’t TMo’s customers vs Sprint. It’s TMo+Sprint vs all consumers with the DoJ/FCC as referee.

  • GinaDee

    I’ve been hearing some rumors that Softbank could consider a reverse marriage of sorts… that is… keep T-Mobile as the parent company in charge of the combined Sprint/T-Mobile entity and give Sprint management the boot.

    Now that I could live with.

    • Richard Yarrell

      That would be the ONLY WAY I would except this situation Plus TMOBILE remains Tmobile operating normally.

    • Trysta

      Agreed! If it happened that way (aka T-mobile as we know it now gets bigger and John Legere stays as CEO) I think that might actually be a good thing.

    • Roger Sales

      Still wouldn’t be good enough for me. We’re talking about years of suffering as a customer while they sort out synergy. If Sprint wanted to expand and become more competitive, they should be targeting companies like US Cellular and C-Spire.

    • Exactly, I can definitely work with that.

  • gadget_hero

    Let’s not forget Regulators still have to approve this regardless of what the BoD’s decide. AT&T was rather similarly overly confidant about its similar position. Not to mention the Obama Justice Dept, is leery of big mergers, especially when they are talking about the one carrier that is really shaking up the incumbents.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Yawning….WAKE ME UP when SPRINT stops WASTING their time… THERE WON’T BE NO MERGER of TMOBILE and SPRINT.

  • xmiro

    the feds are going to nuke this so hard.

    If they didn’t approve AT&T when T-Mobile was dying on the vine, they definitely will not approve it now when it’s forcing the whole industry to respond to their moves

    DOJ wants 4 carriers they made it very clear

    The only way Sprint gets to swallow T-Mobile is if it plucks a 4th carrier out of somewhere to take over, but who when there’s hardly any spectrum left for sale?

    Dish has nationwide 40Mhz AWS, maybe Sprint will give them some 850Mhz or 1900Mhz PCS and host them until their network is done – Dish has to do something with their spectrum asap.

    Vodafone has $130billion maybe they would step in

    Other than that, DOJ statement from the AT&T merger was very very clear what they want

    • BlackJu

      Well to be fair, #4 + #3 would be more acceptable to the DOJ. But I still don’t think it will happen. They seem to be drawing the line at 4 major carriers. BUT, if Sprint wants to enter into an agreement only to pay break-up fees, so be it!

      • xmiro

        here’s a long write up on HHI, what the feds use to determine competitiveness. 100 point increase = red flag, 200 point increase = competition is at risk due to market power

        A combined Sprint/T-Mobile will push the wireless industry HHI index up 450 points overall, more than double what the feds consider alarming.

        When AT&T tried to swallow T-Mobile the increases were in the 900s to over 1300 points in many markets

        http://seekingalpha.com/article/1941271-sprint-and-t-mobile-schrodingers-merger-part-1

    • Stone Cold

      There is no player big enough anymore the next closest thing was Cricket and AT&T just bought them.

  • james

    It would be ok if and only if they kept as CEO

  • This blows. Yeah the feds are going to go bonkers over this…..

  • Chad Dalton

    If softbank want TM so much, why didn’t they buy them in the first place?

    • Roger Sales

      The deal ultimately won’t work because A) Softbank can barely afford the purchase B) T-Mobile will demand too high a breakup fee because the deal has too many risks for them and not enough reward.

      • xmiro

        I wonder about the breakup fee… the news said Softbank didn’t want a high break up fee like like AT&T

        Maybe they’ve reached agreement hence the share transfer

        We’ll know soon enough

        • KP

          It wont pass FCC and DOJ. A DishNetwork deal yes but not sprint because the DOJ wants four players. You keep that with a TMO/Dish deal.

          Also, a TMO and Sprint would create an over leveraged company that wont have the resources to build out on a single platform or even switch technology stack. The economics is just not there..

        • xmiro

          unless the feds allow the merger by forcing Sprint to give up some PCS and AWS to Dish and host its carrier MVNO style for a few years until they get on towers and get coverage

        • SprintHater

          Instead of buying another wireless company, Dish should just lease its spectrum to someone and make itself into a MVNO a long time ago!!!

      • Jay J. Blanco

        Eveyone knows AT&T is going to sue because they wanted T-Mobile in the first place lol

    • Bklynman

      No he is asking why didn’t SB,buy Tmo 1st,instead of Stink.
      The only reason can be that because they have more customers than Tmo? Maybe SB,fingure more return on there money,and faster too.
      Just guessing on my part. Anyone else has idea,why SB didn’t buy Tmo
      1st?

      • Chad Dalton

        Yes exactly… seem like they would have bought tmo before Sprint seeing how successful tmo has been latel. It can only get better from here…

  • Nelson Mejia

    Softbank is only interested now in T-Mobile because TMOUSA is making such major waves in the wireless industry and is actually now a viable carrier. They are scared that there child company, Sprint, will soon lose their #3 spot and become #4. So what is the smart move in Softbank’s eyes? To kill the competition by buying them up. Then they can jointly make a move for the #2 spot. But the problem is that regulatory agencies will NEVER allow this merger because it will hinder competition in the industry. Now if Softbank went after US Cellular that would be a different thing altogether because they are barely a blip on the radar. I hope that Deutsche Telekom sees that TMOUSA is now a viable asset and decides they want to keep their majority hold on TMOUSA. We will see how this all unfolds soon. If in fact there does turn out to be a deal struck to buy TMOUSA then I hope there is a substantial breakup fee of $4-5 billion along with spectrum as in the AT&T breakup deal. If TMOUSA can secure low band spectrum from a deal that we all know will go sour then it will put them in a good place as they have just obtained the Verizon low band spectrum and are launching Wide-Band LTE because of this. Hey who knows maybe that’s why TMOUSA CEO John Legere did the Verizon spectrum deal to then do breakup deal with Softbank because he knew it would not go thru. Then he will secure even more low band spectrum to set TMOUSA above Sprint in the end.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Thats exactly what i think. T-Mobile is killing Sprint so now Softbank want to but tmobile. They should have did that in the beginning. But the wanted stinking Sprint. and I would love if the deal didnt go through because T-Mobile needs the money for network upgrades and spectrum purchases.

      • Roger Sales

        It just occurred to me that maybe someone should start a petition against any possible merger of Sprint/T-Mobile with customers of either company stating their intention to leave if the merger were to take place. AT&T customers did the same thing in 2011 when T-Mobile was being bought and it did make a small difference.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          That may happen I know i’ll sign lol We just have to wait until the offering comes and more details leak.

        • xmiro

          once the details are out you can air you grievances at the DOJ and FCC by writing them

        • philyew

          I think there already has been a link to a petition here when the rumor was first announced. It disappeared without much attention.

          My point is that you can be premature with such things and it would probably make more sense to wait until something is formally announced (if that happens), rather than have something fizzle out because it related to only a rumor.

      • Nelson Mejia

        I completely agree. I am pretty sure the deal won’t go thru. If TMOUSA is smart which under the direction of John Legere it is then they will construct a great breakup deal. So when the breakup comes along then TMOUSA will hopefully get some low band spectrum from Sprint a few billion for the 2015 700Mhz auction. Just wait and see. John Legere is the best thing to happen to TMOUSA!

        • philyew

          The deal would be between Softbank and Deutsche Telekom for the latter’s shareholding in TMUS. It’s therefore unlikely that Legere would be involved in the deal, since he is not an officer of the selling party.

    • xmiro

      no way sprint has low band 800mhz from Nextel as part of a break up deal. Most of their spectrum is either PCS or way up there 2.5 2.6Ghz for LTE which is even worse than the AWS T-MObile has

    • SprintHater

      True from what you said. But in SoftBank’s business strategy, what they are going to do is to buy out TMUS and demolish or combine the Sprint network into SoftBank US. In this way, it will become a brand new company with fresh image and good reputations.

  • Tory

    I would love to see Vodafone buy out TMUS lol rebrand T-Mobile as Vodafone US. That would be such a great slap in the face to Verizon, and a great re-entrance into the US market for Vodafone

    • brianb90

      But Vodafone owns Verizon?

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        verizon wireless bought vodaphones stake.

      • Tory

        Not anymore verizon bought them out

    • donnybee

      I think I could definitely get behind a Vodafone bid. They’ve got stockpiles of cash, and we know they won’t suck the life out of T-Mobile to pay their debt elsewhere in the world (looking at you DT!)

    • SprintHater

      There are a few problems. First, Vodafone has a lot of debts. That’s the reason why they sold Verizon Wireless. Besides, I’m pretty sure when Vodafone sold the US division, they signed some sort of agreement that prohibit them to come back within certain amount of years.

  • xmiro

    yall just don’t forget as soon as the announcement is made we’re either going to have Charlie Ergen step up and say he too is making an offer, he’ll lobby to block it, or they’ll say he’s creating a wireless carrier and getting spectrum and other goodies so deal can go trough with regulators

    • Roger Sales

      He’s the only reason why I believe it’ll never happen. Vodafone, Dish, other people might step in but Sprint is a near impossibility.

      another thing to me is that when AT&T bought T-Mobile, T-Mobile had been really quiet and not doing much in terms of planning. Right now T-Mobile has committed to several projects including building out LTE on a new band and stretching AWS LTE to 225M POPs throughout the end of 2014/early to mid 2015. If a buyout does happen, I think it will happen near the end of that period.

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        FCC will likely block it too. Cant have only three big guys

  • Bklynman

    CEO of SB,stated they can’t afford any kind of fee if this buyout doesn’t go thru.
    Now my question is this,why would do this if you know,there is a chance this will fall thru,and pay billions in fees and assets?Unless he had his lawyers ask DOJ and FCC,off the record would you block it,they told him no. Before anyone says no that can’t happen,think why would he do it if he already knows DOJ,FCC would say no we will not block it. Just a thought. The only other would be,like someone say on here att sueing to stop it. Can’t blame them, still by the time this happen, together Tmo/Sprint will be just big as them and maybe as big as big red. But only
    time will tell.

    • mloudt

      Are you retarded or ignorant? If your foolish logic was the case then the At&t buyout of T-mobile would of went through lmfao use common sense before you speak what an idiot. DOJ and FCC can’t legally insure or imply a deal will have their approval. If this that was the case then a lot of merger and acquisitions would be attempted by a lot of companies in America. That might of been the dumbest comment on T-mo news this year.

      • thepanttherlady

        And you couldn’t find a more tactful and polite way to get your point across?

      • Bklynman

        You are so right of couse not. Things like this never happen.You are the ignorant idiot of a fool. Why don’t you use common sense trollboy.

        • thepanttherlady

          Enough both of You!

  • stevejobbed

    And watch as Legere laughs all the way to the bank and moves on to be the CEO of the next company he needs to get buyout ready in a short amount of time. Its his MO…

  • Reality

    This deal is going to happen. For people that keep saying the FCC wants four major carriers and that they will block this deal – show me the LAW that states that. Maybe they would like 4, but it’s not written in stone. The other reason this will work is because even if you combine all of Sprint’s, TMO’s and Metro’s customers, it’s still not more than AT&T or VZW customers. Therefore it’s not a domination of a subscriber deal. If the AT&T and TMO deal had gone through, AT&T would have a subscriber domination and could of possibly be a monopoly in the wireless space. By combining sprint and tmo, they will still be #3. Only thing that will happen is that it’s going to bring more competition to at&t and vzw.

    FYI: I get that being a hipster is the thing for some people and that John Legere might play the role of one. But the truth is he is a business man. He was brought in to do a very specific job and that is to make tmo attractive in order to sell the company. It’s in his track record. Read these next few words carefully about John… *You can change the frame, but the picture remains the same*.

    Last but not least…. I don’t care how you word it, you are still in a contract.

    • philyew

      It was the Department of Justice complaint against the AT&T takeover that spelled the beginning of the end for that attempt.

      Read their press release at the time http://www.justice{dot}gov/opa/pr/2011/August/11-at-1118.html

      Now substitute Softbank/Sprint for AT&T in the text and see how their arguments then would apply equally now. The anti-trust laws that they are representing aren’t just a numbers game, they are about the quality and nature of competition. In fact, with the way that TM are currently shaking up the industry, the arguments to preserve their role in the marketplace just get longer.

      Unless Softbank are willing and able to make a meaningful and enforceable undertaking to preserve TM’s current role in the marketplace, there is every reason for the DoJ and FCC to maintain their previous position.

      That’s not to say that opposition is guaranteed, but it certainly makes it likely.

      • And the FCC is not likely to accept such a condition anyway. You don’t need to look too far to see what kind of mess that leads to. Just look at the messy situation that Telefónica and Telecom Italia have gotten themselves into!

        A few years ago, ANATEL (the Brazilian telecom regulator) and AGCOM (the Italian telecom regulator) struck an agreement with the two companies. AGCOM permitted Telefónica’s move to acquire a stake in Telecom Italia, provided that the largest stakes were held by Italians. ANATEL permitted the move as long as Telefónica did not exert any influence over TIM Brasil or increase its stake any further.

        Now Telefónica wants to increase its stake in Telecom Italia in order to eliminate the number of headaches it has caused. As a result of the conditions imposed by ANATEL and AGCOM, every single shareholders’ meeting and board meeting for Telecom Italia is a mess, where nearly half of the directors have to abstain or are disbarred from the proceedings. The CEOs of the two companies can’t talk to each other, and neither company is doing that well, which is stressing the CEOs out quite a bit.

        It was a bad idea to do it, and now ANATEL is pushing ultimatums down Telefónica’s throat. It has to resolve the situation by either divesting TIM Brasil or Vivo. It won’t divest Vivo, but Telecom Italia Mobile Group doesn’t want to divest TIM Brasil. So it’s a stalemate and a mess!

        The FCC would have to be absolutely moronic to allow such a thing to be repeated in the U.S.

        • philyew

          Yes, I developed that thought further in another thread yesterday, and concluded that Softbank would be nuts to accept a condition which would limit their options. ;-)

        • superg05

          as always we learn more from you than in any article can we depend on your articulate voice as one of those that emails the fcc when it’s time to take action?

  • Guuci!!!

    im hoping for the best for tmobile they gone so far to shake up the industry with un carrier phase no contract deal,unlimited data roaming everywhere. but from the failed att merger its basically the same thing even thought the combine company wont add up to the number 1 or 2 customer base its still anti competitive. all three company can price their plan how they want and not what the customers want. Sprint/Softbank acquisition of T-Mobile would substantially lessen
    competition in violation of the antitrust laws. Competition is an
    essential component of the FCC’s statutory public interest analysis, and
    although our process is not complete, the record before this agency
    also raises serious concerns about the impact of the proposed
    transaction on competition. Vibrant competition in wireless services is
    vital to innovation, investment, economic growth and job creation, and
    to drive our global leadership in mobile. Competition fosters consumer
    benefits, including more choices, better service and lower prices. T-Mobile sees itself as “the No. 1 value challenger of the
    established big guys in the market and as well positioned in a
    consolidated 4-player national market. for a company to think that since their the number 3 nation carrier the fcc would let it slide i doubt they would…… but only time can tell im hoping they would still have the same mind set of the previous chairman that blocked the att acquisition and not the one that allowed sprint to buy nextel and basically kill it.

  • philyew

    Having just read through the DoJ case against the AT&T takeover that was opened in August 2011, I was surprised about how little would need to be re-written in order to bring a similar action against a Softbank acquisition of DT’s controlling shareholding.

    Aside from the section on market concentration, where the numbers would be less dramatic, you could almost substitute “Softbank/Sprint” for “AT&T” and re-submit the case.

    The market is already defined as “highly concentrated”, so any changes that worsen that situation will not receive easy approval. Even though the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index numbers would be lower, relative to the AT&T attempt, a combination of Sprint and TMUS would, by my reckoning, create a 500+ point shift in the HHI , when changes in excess of 100 points raise anti-trust concerns.

    What strikes me as interesting is that TM’s Uncarrier 4.0 activity only serves to raise the red flag higher. Every subscriber that shifts from AT&T or VZW (or, now, from any one of the several smaller companies that weren’t included in the first announcement) helps to increase the HHI variance. It looks like each million adds from those sources would shift the HHI variance a further 50 points.

    One has to assume that the strategy announced at CES 2014 has board authorization and therefore DT are behind an approach that can only make federal approval more unlikely. If they were betting everything on such a deal, you would think that they would have delayed Uncarrier 4.0 by at least a quarter.

    All of which suggests to me the possibility that, as was the case in 2010 when DT talked to Sprint about a merger before AT&T stepped in with a bid, any dialog with Softbank is just a stalking horse for a deal with an, as yet, undisclosed party (Dish?).

  • jj

    They want us now that we are killing the industry :) … let them want all they want…

    • ha

      us? im sorry i wasnt told the cofounder of tmobile was going to be joining us in the discussion board

      • Drew Vallejo

        Sad day when the people that pay a company feel like they are actually a part of it. Truth is, DT knows that no matter how big T-mobiles subscriber gains are, they still are racking up less profit all around.Not to mention, personal accounts are going to mean sh*t when looking at the whole picture. This technology company has to to look much further than smartphones for growth. Verizon and At&t are breaking ground on so many other areas that will eventually take their businesses to another level, while Legere is trying to Uncarrier laptop sticks. Either Softbank will gobble up T-mobile or Dish will. We all know Uncarrier may stay but forward momentum will cease. And the great consolidation will begin.

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          Clearly you’ve never heard of brand loyalty.

          “Breaking ground…” HA! The only thing AT&T and Verizon are breaking is their customer’s pocketbooks. And trust.

          Any more ridiculous and irrational news?

      • jj

        Um. Yes. Us. And I’m not a “Co founder” but have been deemed so by John legere himself. He deemed us all Co founders and issued founders grants to the employees who stuck it out through the good and the bad. The ones like me who take pride in a company with a new vision. :) why so cynical “guest”?

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          He probably has Sprint.

  • IRIE4IPIEIR

    I’m so tired of this Sprint crud, they are lousy and T-Mobile will be in trouble if they are bought out by an inferior competitor.

  • Bklynman

    I have friends in NYC,NJ,who has Stink,have no problem with them,does anyone else know people from NY,NJ,who has Stink,is happy with them.

  • No Sprint

    No Sprint, not another wrench T-Mobile has to deal with. T-Mobile has made significant progress and helping to change the industry for the better. With the merger, progress and innovation will slow while management changes and T-Mobile will have to focus their time and man power on integrating the two companies and their infrastructure which will screw everyone up and slow down if not block progress T-Mobile has been doing so far. It’s going to be a huge mess such as the United and Continental which are still having issues with merging their systems together…

  • izick

    You guys are looking at this from the lens of Sprint and not Softbank. Sprint Corp. has very little to do with this, and Softbank is like the T-Mobile of Japan.

    I predict that if a merger does happen, the brands remain separate. Sprint focuses on business and T-Mobile on consumer. The CEO of Softbank has already condemned CDMA for the most part, so all that spectrum holding would come over to the T-Mobile side of things. LTE Advanced could have 1GHz deployment with all the spectrum the combined company holds.

    The best part is that the company could work out a deal with FCC to provide unlimited data access for life, a max price for voice messaging services, or other competitive centered deals in exchange for approval.

    One thing is for sure, if a brand were to be lost in a deal with Softbank, it’d be the Sprint brand, ▪T▪▪▪Mobile▪/Telekom has much higher international recognition.

    • philyew

      The lens that the FTC, DOJ and FCC will be looking through is that of common ownership, resulting market concentration, and its impact on fair competition. It doesn’t matter that the deal is contemplated by Softbank, the ownership issues are what matter.

      It may be possible for a commitment to be entered into which could preserve the competitive independence of the two carriers and maintain the impetus of the Uncarrier philosophy, but frankly Softbank would be nuts to enter into it. Even TMUS have the current option of abandoning the Uncarrier approach and modeling themselves on traditional lines, so a deal with the federal authorities guaranteeing that Uncarrier would never change would be unthinkable.

      As far as continuity of branding is concerned, how would the TM brand work in the USA after ownership is completely separated from that of the rest of brand internationally? If DT follows its preferred option (according to today’s article) and completes a 100% sell-out, they will have to continue owning all the marks and brand identifiers (Magenta etc) in order to be able to maintain operating continuity in Europe, and would have no ongoing interest in the performance and image of the US entity.

      Since DT will have no enduring interest here, but have absolute control of the marks, what – other than price – would give them any reason to enter the difficult world of sharing branding? And why, when Softbank have a larger brand with Sprint here in the US market, would they pay a premium price to DT for shared ownership?

      • izick

        This isn’t always true as Virgin Mobile USA sold its branding rights to Sprint Nextel. They still operate Virgin Mobile in other countries. How would this be any different?

        • philyew

          But Sprint Nextel didn’t become Virgin Mobile as a result of the deal, did they?

          Your comment to which I was responding said: “One thing is for sure, if a brand were to be lost in a deal with Softbank, it’d be the Sprint brand.”

          Virgin Mobile isn’t a communications company but is rather a communications brand licensed to independent operators in eight different markets.

          As an MVNO, Virgin Mobile USA would have no interest in expanding into overseas markets, so there would never likely be any conflict of interests overseas between Sprint and a local brand licensee. However, as AT&T are now said to be looking at expanding their interests in Europe, we couldn’t preclude the possibility that an organization of similar size built from Sprint and TM might have similar ambitions at some distant time in the future.

          It might be possible that Softbank could negotiate a temporary right from DT to continue operating a TM division during a transition period, but my points remain valid, I think.

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      …international recognition with companies owned by DT. The stylized “T-” is Deutsche Telekom’s logo. They would absolutely not allow SoftBank or anyone to run a business in their name. If one this is absolutely certain, it is that T-Mobile would not be called T-Mobile anymore. It would be called Sprint.

      You know, Sprint really isn’t a horrible word or name. It’s cool-sounding… it’s just that their network sucks.

      • z

        Incorrect.
        Just because they “own” the name does not mean a deal cannot be worked to for use of the brand name in America.

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          I didn’t say it couldn’t. I just said that SoftBank would opt for it to be called Sprint, and DT would happy oblige.