One man's trash is another man's treasure: Deutsche Telekom could finally exit the U.S. market

With its attempted purchase of Sprint potentially in jeopardy, SoftBank is actively considering buying T-Mobile US as a fall-back plan. Sprint and SoftBank seem confident that its current deal will go through, however a few billion extra dollars from Dish may be enough to force Sprint's hands into taking the more profitable deal -- and SoftBank is reportedly ready to move right on down the line to the next U.S. carrier it can buy, T-Mobile. After its merger with MetroPCS, T-Mobile (now T-Mobile US) is a publicly traded company, making its former parent company Deutsche Telekom now just a majority shareholder. According to three sources to Reuters, the Japanese carrier is returning to talks previously held between it and Deutsche Telekom pertaining to buying its stake in the U.S. carrier.

Just as Deutsche Telekom wanted, this structure makes it a much simpler proposition to sell off its 74-percent stake in T-Mobile US to another company, such as SoftBank, if it wants a final exit from the U.S. At its current valuation T-Mobile US is worth about $15 billion, or $5 billion less than SoftBank currently has on the table to buy Sprint. The numbers work out, and it's no secret that DT has had one foot out the door for some time now -- SoftBank could just be the final piece to make everyone happy.

Source: Reuters

There are 39 comments

TanyaRU says:

Hell NO !!!!!! we at T-mobile don't want Softbank they can go to hell. we love T-mobile the way it is now

DWR_31 says:

Dish gets Sprint and Softbank buys T-Mobile. Result is three major carriers left in the US and Softbank owns one of them.

I don't know. As much as I wonder whether Charlie is up to running a wireless carrier, he's managed to keep Dish afloat. Pair a TV service with a wireless carrier, plus Dish's unused spectrum, and you may have something. And look at it this way. Sprint has been pretty much rudderless for the past few years. Not as bad as it once was, but I don't see a company focused aggressively on becoming a top-tier carrier. Charlie may not do much better, but I don't think he can do much worse. And he understands very well that there are customers outside large cities, so I'd expect to see him make a push for them, something Spring has never really done.

nube_android says:

I don't like all of these acquisitions in the mobile service market. If anyone needs to buy Tmo, it should be Google to create an android network safe for Nexus devices.

return_0 says:


Twenty Two says:

Fuck NO!!

You are goddamn right!!! Go to HELL war criminal bank!

radgatt says:

That could be a better deal in the long run. I don't see anything wrong with it from both sides of the equation. No one gets hurt here..

SoCalBIGmike says:

They wouldn't be "Buying " T-Mobile US, they would simply become a shareholder of up to 25%.

I wish these tech blogs actually knew their shit before page baiting.

Premium1 says:

Not if DT sold their 74% of the company or didn't you read the article?

How do you figure? DT owns 74-percent of the new publicly traded T-Mobile US. SoftBank is in talks with DT to acquire its share, then making it a majority shareholder and "owning" the company.

SoftBank's current deal doesn't have it buying 100% of Sprint either, but its easier to say that they're planning to purchase Sprint because it is technically true.

return_0 says:

Wait what? 75%≠25%...

return_0 says:

Oops, meant 74%≠25%

RaiderWill says:

As long as I can keep my Galaxy on the $360.00 a year phone plan with 100 Minutes Talk / Unlimited Data / Unlimited Txting I don't give a Rat's A$$ who holds the shares.. Hmmm.. Guess I better drop another $360.00 down on my books to "Lock In" until the fall of 2014... Just in case something crazy happens.. :-)

crewdawgc5 says:

I'd have to swap over to at&t if they jacked our prices up!

Adam G1 says:

As long as I keep my plan. Their plans are great because we can bring our own phones.

Nobody seems to have bothered to check to see there any Chinese money behind SoftBank?

mak916 says:

So if SoftBank buys T-Mobile US., there will only be three carriers in the Us. left? Does SoftBank plan on not keeping T-Mobile US. here?

Whether it buys T-Mobile or Sprint, SoftBank doesn't plan on shutting down either company. It just wants to run the companies its own way and keep them going.

mak916 says:

That's what I thought but someone said there would be only three carriers here in the US, that confused me. lol. I'm with Sprint, and if Dish ends up with Sprint and SoftBank ends up with T-Mobile, I will be heading to T-Mobile.

return_0 says:

That person was saying that Sprint would spiral down the drain faster if purchased by Dish, so there would only be 3 real carriers remaining: VZW, ATT, and T-Mo.

droidhead_1 says:

No they are going to buy them just to shut them down.... it's the best business strategy I've ever heard..

brendilon says:

That's how Romney made his fortune, buy up troubled companies and sell off their scraps, claiming a loss on the tax returns.

Raptor007 says:

Why not, let Dish take Sprint, SoftBank take T-Mo and we have 4 Major carriers and the two bottom rung providers might actually get cash infusions sufficient enough to build out their infrastructure and become competitive in the process.

ATT and Verizon have long held onto the the top spots gouging customers and its time to see some real competition in this country.

droidhead_1 says:

^^^ this

Jonneh says:

100% this. I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one thinking this. I'm all for it. Softbank should get T-Mobile, Dish can have Sprint. I think it works out best for both carriers that way anyway. Plus both Softbank and T-Mobile are GSM!

mak916 says:

I think that after the SoftBank and Sprint deal goes through, SoftBank and Sprint will try to buyout T-Mobile US.

brycenull says:

^ This would be even better than the other idea above!

hct says:

it will never happen. remember when AT&T tried to buy T-Mobile?

return_0 says:

That was different. Verizon and AT&T both have just over 100 million customers, with AT&T only a few million behind. If AT&T bought T-Mo, they would get a huge advantage. But if Sprint and T-Mobile merged, they would still be in third place.

brendilon says:

It was different. In part because ATT and Tmo's networks are fairly compatible. Sprint and T-Mobile use very different tech.
Won't happen.

return_0 says:

T-Mobile and MetroPCS merged, didn't they? GSM and CDMA…

ConTejas says:

No, MetroPCS LTE.

flychinook says:

I'm not certain how it works out for bandwidth, but I would think that a cdma carrier buying a gsm carrier would be a pain. Sprint would be better buying out US Cellular (they already have in some markets)

toddjy says:

The article ends with the words "...to make everyone happy." Except the customers. I doubt that I would be happy if T-Mo got sold right now, unless they new owners kept things as they are.

mhmmdy123 says:

I don't blame Softbank if they do that.

mike31082 says:

What would be even better is if Softbank's offer for Sprint was accepted and they still turn around and buy TMobile.

I think any influence from Softbank into the US cell service is a good thing and would be beneficial to both companies IMO.

Jonneh says:

I agree with your last statement. The fact that Softbank is even willing to do this in the first place is great. I wish them luck (and secretly hope they choose T-Mobile so I can join them!)

bigtank says:

Y'all are forgetting about Vodafone in all of this. Its no secret they want out of VZW. Heck, McAdams just payed them a dividend last year for the first time ever. And that was only done so he could screw us over in Wireline with shitty contracts. Vodafone has said publicly that they would want TMo. Them leaving VZW solely to VZ means McAdams could combine Wireless and Wireline into one big company instead of separate entities that we are now