Comcast latest company to be linked to T-Mobile purchase

Comcast latest company to be linked to T-Mobile purchase
So far this year, T-Mobile has been linked to a pair of different suitors. The one creating the most noise has been SoftBank/Sprint. Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son, and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, have both visited U.S. regulators to gauge how such a deal would go down in Washington. Despite some pretty obvious disdain for the deal from the FCC and the FTC, a bid from Sprint is rumored to take place next month, as long as both sides can agree on a break-up fee that T-Mobile would receive if the deal does not close.

Another company rumored to be interested in T-Mobile is Dish Network. Chairman and CEO Charles Ergen has been trying to turn Dish into a wireless carrier, and last year he lost two takeover battles for Sprint and Clearwire. Now armed with some H-block spectrum won at an auction, Dish made some noise about purchasing T-Mobile as far back as January of this year. The latest word from Ergen is that Dish will bid for T-Mobile if Sprint pulls out due to regulatory issues.

Today, a new player has been rumored to be joining the group. According to securities and banking firm UBS, cable giant Comcast could decide to make a bid for T-Mobile as a reaction to AT&T's purchase of DirecTV. AT&T has stated that it would sell mobile video services 12 to 18 months after it closes on the purchase of DirecTV, and this leaves Comcast wanting to offer the same service to its customers.

Currently, Comcast has an option to lease spectrum from Verizon if it wants to become an MVNO, but it seems that the cable operator wants more. And a Comcast bid for T-Mobile would certainly be welcomed by regulators.

T-Mobile was the subject of a takeover bid once before, with AT&T forced by the Justice Department's FTC to abandon the deal. As a result, T-Mobile received $3 billion in cash and some useful spectrum from AT&T. The result was a stronger, more confident T-Mobile which has since become the darling of the industry with its pro-consumer tactics. Who will end up with the most innovative carrier in wireless?


source: IBD, Barron's via FierceWireless

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