US: T-Mobile unlikely to accept surprise Iliad bid

While France wireless operator Iliad’s offer to acquire T-Mobile for $15 billion would likely face fewer regulatory obstacles than Sprint’s bid, unnamed sources say T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom is unimpressed by the offer.

Iliad surprised the industry last week when it announced an offer to acquire T-Mobile, which has long been reported to be in merger discussions with Sprint to combine the US’s third- and fourth-place wireless operators. Iliad had offered to acquire a 56.6 percent stake in T-Mobile.

But according to one source, “this offer is not serious enough to walk away from Sprint/Softbank.” Softbank is the parent company of Sprint and is reported to be planning a formal acquisition bid for T-Mobile for about $32 billion.

But that plan is likely to face intense regulatory scrutiny. The merger would require approval from both the US Department of Justice as well as the Federal Communications Commission, and would need to overcome expected consumer advocate criticism as the nation’s media industry is headed towards a slew of multibillion-dollar deals.

Still, say reports, T-Mobile is likely to stick with a Sprint deal. Reports say the companies have agreed to a $2 billion breakup fee should the merger fail.

Full content: Reuters

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