Deutsche Telekom CEO says he’s ‘not in the mood’ to sell T-Mobile US


It’s no secret that T-Mobile US parent company Deutsche Telekom has been interested in selling T-Mo in recent years, including the attempted sale to AT&T and rumors of a Comcast deal. DT’s feelings appear to have changed for now, though.

Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges has said that his company isn’t looking to sell T-Mobile US right now. “We are not in the mood of selling the business,” Hoettges told a group of investors this week. “We are not in the mood of: ‘Oh where is the partner we need?’”

That said, DT is keeping an eye on the regulatory situation in the US with President-elect Donald Trump. “We compare a lot of variables. With Trump, the regulatory environment might change,” Hoettges explained. “Everybody is expecting this. At least the chance is bigger than it was under the Democrats.”

“All of this is helping us to be open and try to improve our situation,” the DT CEO said. “I am not afraid about whether a (pure) mobile player can survive in this environment. If there are any options, we are going to consider.”

While Deutsche Telekom has been motived to sell T-Mobile US in the past, the Un-carrier’s recent successes seem to have made DT feel a little less urgent. T-Mo blew by Sprint to become the No. 3 carrier in the US a little more than one year ago, and as of the most recent earnings reports, T-Mobile has nearly 10 million more customers than Sprint (69.4 million vs 60.2 million). This success gives DT the ability to wait until the time is right for a sale if it wants to, and in the mean time, T-Mo continues to grow.

Source: Reuters

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  • Great news. I really don’t want to be a Sprint customer.

    • Matt

      Even had Sprint and T-Mobile merged, the winning brand would be T-Mobile. Sprint is tarnished as a brand.

      • Brian Richards

        Which brand it ends up labeled isn’t as important as which leadership team sets the direction. My fear has been that anyone that “merges” with T-Mo, that T-Mo would be the subservient management, whatever brand names stick around.

        • StevenM

          Reminds me of the Continental-United “merger”. The Continental logo is still on the planes but the business philosophy is far from it.

        • No they said Legere woukd run it not that mouth breathing Marcelo.

        • james

          With Japanese ultimately in charge

      • Even Sprint has conceded that point in saying Legere would run the company. But at this point if my choice were between a Japanese owned T-Mo/Sprint and AT&T I think I’d go Deathstar. Mayhe John could convince me otherwise.

        • james

          The Japanese would tie legeres hands. There employees dont have enough power. They cant make any decision. #neversprint

    • james

      I hate sprint horrible customer service.

  • Walt

    Money always talks

  • mikeZo6

    Then put some money up DT so Tmo can get much stronger with their network ! STILL holes in coverage !

    • Acdc1a

      Every carrier has holes…and if you’ve ever used Verizon in my area you’d know that for sure. No carrier has expanded as rapidly as T-Mobile without the help of a big merger.

      • Allen Alberto Enriquez

        Well said! North Carolina Durham I noticed that the best coverage is U.S Cellular their AT&T was second so very true!

  • Raiterio Patterson

    What if Hotteges is waiting for T-Mobile to get plump and fat with post paid subscribers then sell them for the highest bidder?

  • steveb944

    We’ll see how long that feeling lasts.

  • Kevin Rice

    I liked this statement I read in another article, “T-Mobile US is now almost as big as Deutsche Telekom’s German business, bringing in 2.156 billion euros in adjusted EBITDA, just below the 2.25 billion Germany generated in the third quarter.”

    • Acdc1a

      The biggest concern in wireless right now is survival as a wireless only provider. That’s not to say a merger is what’s best. A partnership allowing T-Mobile to deal in media and media to deal in wireless could be perfect to everyone’s long term goals.

    • Allen Alberto Enriquez

      Kevin Rice do you still have link to article?

  • Maybe DT will invest more $ in tmobile then they need to roll out 700mhz aggressively

  • SirStephenH

    So in other words DT is waiting for the Trump administration to severely weaken the regulatory environment in the US to allow for more consolidation in the market. Not exactly a pro-consumer stance…

    • Loco Mole

      You know a “large corporation taking a pro-consumer stance” is a contradiction in term, right? T-mo’s aim, first and foremost, is profit. To get that, it PLAYS the pro-subscriber company, with an outwardly pro-subscriber CEO, but underneath all that, well, you know…

      OTOH, it’s our wallet so we choose whom we want pay in our own best interest.

  • FILA

    I do not believe T-mobile ever wanted to sell the US stakes to AT&T. I think it was a set up all along to get the agreement between AT&T.

    • dtam

      If you remember the history, when DT wanted to sell TMO to ATT, TMO was in 4th place with less than 40 million users, they weren’t doing well. once the breakup happened with a billion dollars going to tmo, that’s when they hired legere and the uncarrier movement started.

      DT very much wanted to sell TMO, but the business did a 180

  • TheCudder

    T-Mobile US’s stock has nearly doubled in under 24 months…I can’t think of anyone who’d be in the mood to get rid a company with that type of success.

  • Steven Strain

    Well Donald and John Legere did have that Twitter tantrum not too long ago. Maybe the Donald isn’t one to hold a grudge?