Deutsche Telekom will reportedly not pursue any potential sale offers for its T-Mobile US subsidiary until after the 600MHz auction is done and dusted in the United States this year.
Reuters quotes two sources as saying that Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) will put any sale of T-Mobile US Inc. on hold around the low-band 600MHz auction. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules state that participants cannot undertake any M&A talks immediately before or after the auction anyway, and the bidding process could take months.
The 600MHz auction is expected to start at the end of March. T-Mobile spent up to $10 billion on the former broadcast TV spectrum and anticipates being a big winner in the low-band sell-off. (See T-Mobile CEO: We'll be a 600MHz Auction Winner.)
"During that period, there will be no M&A activity in the US telecoms sector," the news agency quoted one source as saying.
At this time, there are no publicly announced bids for T-Mobile. The last came from French operator Iliad (Euronext: ILD), which ended its attempt to buy the "Un-carrier" in October 2014. (See Iliad Ends Pursuit of T-Mobile US.)
There are always rumors, however, swirling round the operator. Companies like Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) have been named as potential suitors. Light Reading has even heard some in the industry suggest that Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim could make a bid. (See T-Mobile: Google & Dish Could Be 'Interesting' Partners and T-Mobile CFO Eyes Dish, Growth Opportunities.)
Waiting until after the 600Mhz auctions are done will have another benefit for DT. The German operator will either know, or have a much clearer picture, on who the next American president will be and how friendly their administration will be to multi-billion dollar communications mergers.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading