May 24 AT 8:59 AM Anthony Domanico 30 Comments

Deutsche Telekom: No takeovers, but merger still on the table for T-Mobile USA


While addressing shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Cologne, Germany, Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann told investors that a complete takeover of T-Mobile USA was out of the question after AT&T’s very public failed bid last year. Obermann did tell investors that it was considering all other options, including a potential merger of its T-Mobile USA business unit with another organization.

There are several options on the table in such a scenario; Sprint has had its eye on T-Mobile USA for a while, and a combined company would present a large competitor to AT&T and Verizon. Such a scenario is unlikely, however, as the technology these companies employ is so different that it would be extremely costly to make the networks compatible.

The more likely potential suitor is MetroPCS, as recent rumors have suggested that the two companies are actively speaking about a possible merger. Bloomberg reported a few weeks back that the company was essentially looking to do a joint venture with MetroPCS, with Deutsche Telekom holding the majority stake of the combined company. The deal could be similar to the Everything Everywhere carrier in the UK, a joint venture between T-Mobile and Orange. Deutsche Telekom is also considering a network sharing agreement with MetroPCS or Sprint, which would have the companies sharing spectrum but maintaining their current status as standalone organizations.

Meanwhile, it’s business as usual for T-Mobile USA. The company is beginning to actively build out an LTE network over the next two years. Time will tell the fate of T-Mobile USA, though the message from Deutsche Telekom is still crystal clear; T-Mobile USA does not work as a standalone business, and the company will be looking at ways to either make T-Mobile profitable, or spin it off into a new company combined with another carrier.

Source: Bloomberg

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • jaxidian

    They just need to make some attractive deal to get everybody from the Verizon exodus. That will bring a lot of new customers to T-Mobile!

    • spazby

      come on google, moto deal closed, now get t-mobile.

      • kazahani

        Wouldn’t work. How many Android phones do you think AT&T and Verizon would order if Google was a direct competitor? They would all go running to Windows Phone.

        • Cesar Flores

          T-Mobile did launch the first ever Android the HTC G1. It is a possibility. Also T-Mobile launched the first Nexus exclusively for a few weeks or months. There is a Google and T-Mobile relationship. Especially since back in the sidekick era, creator of Google I believe had worked on the sidekick software before. So I say it’s a good posibility of this

        • Uma Fan

          What you’re saying is unlikely.

          At&t and Verizon can either carry Android phones or see their customers leave to companie(s) that do.

      • VS

        I just cant see this happening since the Moto deal just closed and regulators would have to review another telecom acquisition where Google is the one absorbing a business. They wouldnt like the idea of a vertical monopoly in the spirit of Rockafeller.

        Honestly, I’d see Amazon being allowed to buy T-Mo before Google…

        I hope T-Mo can succeed and prove to the US Market that prepaid plus worldband GSM (aka unlocked phones) are a viable option.

        • spazby

          There still would be competition, right? They can operate it as a standalone business, they would make a better integration with the hardware, I don’t see why this could not work

      • HackNet

        Google will NEVER, EVER, purchase T-Mobile. Are you insane? They have too much on their plate right now. One bite at a time.

        • spazby

          they do have lots on their plate but it would be different division working on this… wouldn’t you like it if you were buying unlocked nexus from google play with an option to have unlimited data for $50 a month? Voice and text would be going through google voice using data…. i would sign up in a hurry

    • LukeT32

      Tmobile he’s no coverage in Iowa….. So i wouldn’t switch anytime soon

  • jamal adam

    T-Mobile would work as a standalone if only it was given the necessary tools and attention from its parent company. I wouldn’t mind a merger with MetroPCS but I would always prefer to have T-Mobile be on its own two feet. Hopefully, it all works out in the long run. I love T-Mobile.

  • Nathan D.

    If they want to make a profit start getting bad ass phones from companies like HTC,Samsung, Sony, ect with good prices for there plans.

    • ihatefanboys

      Are you nuts, they got kick ass phones. The HTC one S, the GS2, etc. this summer theyll prob get the HTC One X. Plus TMO plans are hard to beat, and their service is awesome. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, like IOWA, you never lose signal or service, not many carriers can boast that.

    • redraider133

      Phones can only do so much without network coverage. Network>phones because no matter how awesome the phone is with no service it’s worthless

  • Cesar Flores

    T-Mobile has great service and reception, before “back in 09″ people use to cancel because of reception. Now that’s not an issue nowadays people are just into what everyone else is into. Like the whole Iphone craze. Now its Samsung devices “Which do not really ever get software updates. It’s all about advertisement now. Like Verizon using the term “Droid”. Really when T-Mobile launched the first Android device ever. Yet people say “oh i have a droid”. Im like STFU it’s and Android Devices, get it straight. At the end of the day people rather pay more with Verizon, and Sprint, than save money with T-Mobile. For T-Mobile to stand alone they just need to get an “Exclusive Device” like the HTC HD2. Believe it or not I know some might judge say that is a bad device, but when it launched it was the best out there, and It was sold out for weeks. If T-Mobile could get a 5.3 inch Android phablet, with a quadcore processor, and have it exclusive just for T-Mobile and be able to confirm android updates much quicker. T-Mobile will be able to stand alone. Oh and get back in to a professional sport league. Can’t believe T-Mobile lost the NBA to Sprint GTFOH.

    • VS

      Haha, NHL?

      AT Bat MLB app is awesome and carrier free =). I hate being tied into services where mobile viewing is exclusive (I’m looking at you NFL / Verizon)!

      Being the only US carrier to offer the SGIII with Exynos quad core unlocked would be a great start to try and differentiate themselves from the competition. I wish they would of done this with the Tegra 3 One X.

      Hell, offer up the unlocked super phones from Sony / LG if you want as well. Get the GSM spectrum refarm done ASAP!

    • ihatefanboys

      They need to launch the next phone in the G series from HTC, its almost overdue. I know its been less than 2 years since the G2 launched but it is overdue. I got an HTC ONE S because i was tired of waiting for it to be announced. if HTC were to announce it coming next spring, i would jump at it, and sell my ONE S in an instant. Im sure many TMO customers would too

  • John

    For anyone wondering about the actual financials behind this, T-Mobile has been hemmoraging customers for awhile now; the German parent was hoping to sell it off to AT&T, but FCC blocked it due to politics, so now T-Mo is trying to offload its liabilities on a partner, hence the talk of a merger

  • inviolable

    They need to merge with Cablevision. It makes too much sense.

  • jesslynh

    It is too bad that T-mobile is not getting the credit (or customers) that it deserves. I have the phone I want, the tablet I want and a great mobile broadband account. When the Nexus devices are released, I’ll have the new stuff I want.

    People need to educate themselves about what they want in a phone instead of doing the iphone lemming dance.

    • Homncruse

      I’m curious; what does the iPhone lemming dance look like?

      • jesslynh

        I have more than one friend, acquaintance and relative who got the iPhone–mainly due to advertising and popularity, only to either go out and buy a full-priced replacement or immediately change phones the day their contract was up to an Android device.

        Personally, I favor TMo’s choices of options for family plans over what I hear that Verizon/ATT are planning to do and will stick with them as long as they keep their pricing and data models competitive.

  • redraider133

    Hopefully if this does happens it can add a little more competition to verizon and at&t since as it stands verizon and at&t can nickel and dime you because in most places tmo just is not a viable option. A merger could change this.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Within the next 6weeks Tmobile will be having me as a customer. Tmobile will have a big upcoming summer. With the Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note2, and with all people currently leaving Verizon and buying the Galaxy Nexus through the play store they will be fine. People on Verizon with the Galaxy now realize all that glittered didn’t turn out to be gold after all. Verizon was blazing 15 to 20up back in December and now lucky to get 7 to 10 up network is saturated now. Perfect time to leave before the crappy iphone crush in Sept/Oct. Think it slowed drastically now wait till then plus poor updates. Trust me i know tmobile will benefit from the exits people are doing now from Verizon. July 1st will be my time to bail Verizon for the Galaxy S3 on Tmobile then just wait in the weeds for the next Nexus with jellybean come November.

    • squiddy20

      Have fun with that $300+ ETF, then the $200- $500 cost of the “new” phone (depending if you get it carrier subsidized or MSRP), plus the cost of whatever plan(s) you go with on T-Mobile. The ETF and cost of new phone (even subsidized) alone is pretty much equivalent to a half year of Verizon service. And you call me stupid. smh
      “and now lucky to get 7 to 10 up” if by “up” you mean “uploading”, then you’re a moron. What you really need to be worrying about is download speeds since that’s what you (and almost everyone on the planet) does the most. And even if you meant downloading, even 5 mbps is still pretty fast. That’s a 20 MB app (think slightly larger than Angry Birds (~16 MB)) in roughly 4 seconds you nitwit. You really think that’s “slow”? Try doing that on 3G dumbass.

    • redraider133

      My lte speeds are still great here. Yeah maybe it will slow down some but not much once the iphone if it has lte comes because then they could rework their existing 3g to work on lte. I can’t wait to see what you bitch about once you switch to tmo, because you dick bitch no matter what. People would call you one of those who feel “entitled” to everything. Not going to happen dick, the world doesn’t revolve around you, no matter how much you think it does.

  • Homncruse

    I know how “Deutsche Telekom” is pronounced, but ever since the AT&T crapfest, I can’t NOT read it as “Douche Telekom” instead.

  • jimtravis

    I live in Boston and the T-Mobile signal is fine with good speeds in the downtown area. T-Mobile consistently has a good signal underground in the subway while most of the competition is spotty at best. However, I do travel to Lake George, NY for the car show each year,and I have yet to obtain a usable T-Mobile signal during the week at the show while I consistently receive a usable signal at Lake George with the other three US mobile carriers.

  • ndarvishev

    I remember that AT&T had to pay certain amount in case of failing in acquisition. And that amount was pretty big. I wonder if AT&T paid that money.
    I don’t know about the phones, but it sure looks to me a merger in case of MetroPC. In this case, I guess T-Mobile will have more power over the business. Because, MetroPC is smaller than T-Mobile.
    I don’t know, but I would like to learn their financial statements for the last 3 years.

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