According to Reuters by way of German Manager Magazin, Comcast is in discussions with Deutsche Telekom about the potential purchase of wireless carrier T-Mobile. However, Ars Technica has reported that an anonymous source familiar with Comcast claims that the cable giant is not actually interested in purchasing T-Mo.
Avi Greengart, research director for market intelligence firm Current Analysis, says a deal between Comcast and T-Mobile makes sense. Greengart told us that T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom is looking for a company to take T-Mo off its hands, and that the purchase would give T-Mobile the money needed to purchase additional spectrum or make new capital investments. Greengart also added that Comcast is not the only suitor, and that there may be other companies that offer an even better fit.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Dish Network is also contemplating a merger with the Un-Carrier. T-Mobile would stand to gain access to Dish's spectrum for increased wireless coverage and capacity. At the same time, Dish would find itself with a larger potential market for its various media content, which includes the subscription based streaming service Sling TV.
The talks come off the heels of Comcast’s failed purchase of Time Warner Cable this past April after numerous protests from consumers and regulatory concerns from the FCC. T-Mobile is also no stranger to buyout negotiations, as it was the target of a failed acquisition by AT&T in 2011 after the Department of Justice blocked the merger due to claims of lessening competition. In 2013, reports indicate that Sprint also looked into buying the Un-carrier, but gave up a year later, again due to doubts that the merger wouldn't pass antitrust regulation.
A buyout of T-Mobile would also include MetroPCS, which is T-Mo’s more budget friendly wireless carrier. By purchasing T-Mobile, Comcast stands to gain entry into the wireless market, a largely untapped segment for the cable giant who already has major stakes in the television and Internet media. Buying T-Mobile certainly couldn't hurt Comcast's reputation. Consumerist named the cable operator the “Worst Company in America” in 2010 and 2014.
Comcast is the largest cable provider in the US and also the parent company of NBCUniversal. Other Comcast holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL team and the 76ers NBA team, and it also operates several cable TV channels such as E! and The Golf Channel.
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