Analysts name T-Mobile as possible cable provider acquisition target


T-Mobile has been the subject of many acquisitions and rumors in recent years, and now it looks like it’s happening once again.

Following French company Altice’s $17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision, analysts have suggested that some cable firms could be interested in acquiring T-Mobile in an effort to get into wireless and offer a “quad play.” BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk suggests that T-Mo may be an acquisition target for cable operators like Altice/Cablevision and Charter.

While these cable operators feel that prices for carriers are too high right now and that they need to drop before they make any deals, Piecyk notes that that’s unlikely to happen with T-Mo growing its average revenue per user and all carriers pushing for more data-heavy usage. And when it comes to looking at a US carrier to acquire, the only two possible options are Sprint and T-Mobile, and it doesn’t appear that SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is interested in selling off Sprint at this time.

Meanwhile, John Legere has said in the past that it’d make sense for T-Mobile to partner up with a major cable operator. “”But it’s just logical; if you step back and start from a consumer and then the consumer says, ‘Hey, wait a minute. I have Comcast and I have T-Mobile. Why don’t these guys do something together to provide a seamless set of capabilities to us?’ And then certainly some of the evolution of what’s happening in unlicensed and etc. is going to provide something.”

Whether or not we’ll actually see a cable provider make a move on T-Mobile remains to be seen. Considering that Altice’s cable providers primarily operate in New York and College Station, Texas, though, MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett is unsure that an Altice acquisition of T-Mo would make sense for a quad play move.

So yeah. John Legere has expressed interest in hooking up with a cable provider, and for cable providers looking to pick up a wireless operator, T-Mobile seems the prime target right now. We’ll just have to wait and see if a cable provider actually steps up and tries to make a deal.

Via: FierceWireless
Sources: BTIG, MoffettNathanson

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  • lomsha

    As long as it’s not Comcast.

    • fechhelm

      Ditto that. Comcast is the worst company ever.

      • Jrunner

        Actually… Charter ranks in pretty close with Comcast. The problems my brother had with them sent him out of his way to never do business with them again.

        • fechhelm

          I’m awaiting a court date with Comcast. Then I’m done with them forever.

        • steveb944

          That’s horrible. Best of luck.

          I’m about to call and question my upcoming data limit for their great ‘pilot program’. Ugh.

        • Trevnerdio

          Did you get roped into one of their 300/350GB pilots? Thankfully, the 250GB threshold has been suspended for the past several years where I live.

        • steveb944

          That’s the one, 300GB because that’s all everyone needs. And they have a monopoly around here so I’m truly roped.

        • Trevnerdio

          Ha all everyone needs…they obviously don’t binge-watch Netflix.

      • GinaDee

        Every company is hated or disliked. The bigger the company the more people hate them. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make business sense for them to merge or purchase another company.

        Comcast not only is a US based company but they have the finances to invest the kind of money needed to take T-Mobile’s network toe to toe or even farther with Verizon Wireless. They own NBC Universal and have the digital content power to push cable TV to every T-Mobile phone in America.

        With the 600 MHz auction coming up next year T-Mobile desperately needs a powerhouse with the cash to play and play hard.

        • Fraydog

          I never thought I’d be saying this, but I think Malone and Charter may be the lesser of all the evils left on the board. TWC and Charter have cable properties in urban markets like NYC, Dallas, and LA where T-Mobile all has strong presence. These companies also have a rural presence that could provide rural fiber backhaul for any future towers. Malone also has the money to throw in to the 600 MHz auction. The biggest key is I think Malone would be the most likely to leave Legere in place to continue TMUS’s current disruptive policies.

        • Cellphone Chris

          Comcast is the natural suitor here. They have the capital on hand, considering they have cash lying around after the failed TWC deal (which I still think made sense). They also are working very hard to improve the customer experience and shake the negative reputation that led to its opposition.

          A combination of T-Mobile’s wifi calling with over 10M Xfinity hotspots would instantly improve coverage for consumers, provide access to more content (imagine Uncarrier 11.0 – Streaming Freedom) and make both companies more competitive with AT&T and VZ, who both offer bundle deals that include wireless.

      • Philip

        Yep Comcast is bad. The bigger the company, the worst. Why did congress allow monopoly in cable. No competition hence higher price! I thought this is USA.

        • Cellphone Chris

          No competition? Last I checked, cable companies compete with SatCos (DirecTV, Dish), TelCos (UVerse, Frontier, Fairpoint, Fios), Fiber (Google), AlarmCos (ADT, Brinks), and OTT (Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV, Roku).

        • brybry

          In terms of other cable providers. In my town my only option for cable is TWC. Why shouldn’t we have access to Cablevision/Comcast/Charter etc..

        • Cellphone Chris

          Remember, cable is terrestrial. Each company would have to run fiber/coax to serve a new area. There would be 5x the number of wires on every telephone pole! They would also need to maintain more network and expand operations to cover that footprint, with less market share. There are some areas where they overlap, but very few.

    • Aurizen

      I would be ok with Comcast buying T-Mobile because John Legere would run the whole company making both companies stronger and a competetor..

      • lomsha

        There’s no guarantee John would be given that position.

        • Aurizen

          Then T-Mobile wouldn’t accept it.

        • Cellphone Chris

          He’d most likely run the wireless division. Comcast’s chairman and CEO is Brian Roberts, son of Ralph Roberts, the founder. No way that Legere would run the combined company. Besides, as the company being bought, there’s no leverage for T-Mobile USA to mandate that type of thing.

  • francob911 .

    I bet its goong to be Dish or TWC

    • besweeet

      I wouldn’t mind TWC. Not quite as idiotic as Comcast (most of the time).

      • Andrew

        I sure would mind TWC. My happiest time dealing with them was returning my cable modem and canceling my service. Even that took over 30 minutes to handle in their ‘service’ center.

        • gmo8492

          I’ve had both, and TWC is the lesser of two evils. Trust me.

        • Pelon

          The only reason I would agree to a T-Mo and TWC merger/deal is because TWC is the only internet provider in my area. It’s Expensive and crappy… Could use some Un-carrier love.

        • brybry

          if it was comcast i’m sure you would’ve been there for more than 2 hours.

      • Mike Palomba

        I really like TWC except when I have an internet problem. When their service works (99%) of the time, its great

    • Bradley Karas

      TWC was bought out by Comcast

      • Dustin Pelc

        No they weren’t. The acquisition was blocked by our government (thank God!)

    • frankinnoho

      TWC was bought by Charter

      • Mark

        I’m willing to bet that the person who’s happiest about that is the head of TimeWarner (the part that owns Warner Bros., not TWC). He’s said that people still complain at him about their cable service even though they spun off the cable company 3 years ago. Name change can’t come soon enough for him.

        But will Charter / TWC have enough cash available after the merger to make a play for TMo?

  • Shlomo Boukai

    I can’t believe I just learned about my ISP being bought out on TmoNews.

    • PuvMan

      Yea, same here…..wish Dolan would have sold his stake in the Knicks and Rangers too though…….

  • trife

    There has never been a moment where I wished my cable provider would team up with my wireless carrier.

    I see you and your sales pitch, Legere.

  • frankinnoho

    Here we go again.

  • vinnyjr

    Don’t believe it.

  • lynyrd65

    How are regional cable companies bigger than T-Mobile?

    • Fabian Cortez

      Cable is big business.

    • Cellphone Chris

      Here’s your answer.

      – Comcast

      Revenue: $64.657 billion (2013)
      Operating income: $13.563 billion (2013)
      Net income: $6.816 billion (2013)
      Total assets: $158.813 billion (2013)
      Total equity $51.058 billion (2013)
      Number of employees: 136,000 (Dec 2013)

      – T-Mobile US

      Revenue: $29.56 billion (2014)
      Operating income: $1.42 billion (2014)
      Net income: $247 million (2014)
      Total assets: $56.65 billion (2014)
      Total equity: $15.66 billion (2014)
      Number of employees: 45,000 (2014)

  • Mike Palomba

    I wash ATT hadn’t bought DirecTV because DirecTV + T-Mobile would be amazing

    • JayQ330

      “I wash” is already patented, “I wish”, that ones open source. J/K, I was upset about att getting direct TV to, it’s all about money. Direct TV lost out imo, that was a new market that has loyal customers & that’s something you can’t buy, with att it’s just business.

  • taxandspend

    After spending $17 billion, how likely is it that they can come up with another 40 billion?

  • jay_max

    You realize analysts release garbage like this to pump up stocks in the investment portfolios they manage. It’s a game that’s been going on since at least the Enron days.

  • 1ceTr0n

    This shit again?

  • Paul

    The last rumor fizzled out. Without a name and confirmation it’s nothing.

  • BillSmitty

    Sorry John, I have Comcast and TMobile and I will NEVER say these two should do something together. Comcast is horrible and overpriced, the complete opposite of what TMO has been for me the last 14 years. I will more than likely look for a new carrier if Comcast buys or does a deal with TMO.

  • JayQ330

    “We’ll just have to wait and see if a cable provider actually steps up and tries to make a deal” c’mon cable companies, who’s gonna bite on this great deal? Who’s gonna step up & make this uncarrier historical move! Step up! , wow if I owned a cable company & read this article I’d jump on this deal in an instant. Sure Buddy

  • vinnyjr

    Everyone would like to get their filthy hands onto T-Mobile. This company has had staggering numbers, their very best numbers haven’t even been announced. These last two months have been so good it’s absolutely amazing. Every Major Cable company wants T-Mobile. I don’t want this success to stop anytime soon. We will hear this talk for a long time, doesn’t mean anything. T-Mobile is in a great position, hoping it continues to shake shit up. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere.

  • jeff grace

    AT&T owns DirecTV that is already passed and finalized via FCC a few months back.

    Charter is finalizing time Warner cable and will have it complete by years end as they are already sharing converter boxes and switching TWC over to Charter .

    T-Mobile is looking at a merger with Dish Network and is in the final talked with the price they want the debt they take on and the stock amount , FCC will no doubt clear the purchase by years end or by mid year next year .

    Verizon is trying to purchase spectrum from Dish Network , under the nose of T-Mobile before the purchase deal with T-Mobile and Dish is finalized .

    Comcast won’t be doing much for a while as they have to pay $100 for ea customer fees for a unlisted number and they are selling all unlisted numbers to certain companies . On top of that they are in trouble with the FCC and many others and have been fined Millions .(more detail online )