According to Bloomberg, Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile, is in talks to acquire MetroPCS, which would then be combined with T-Mobile into a single publicly-listed entity. Neither Deutsche Telekom nor MetroPCS has commented on the rumors – and we still don't know exactly what kind of price Deutsche Telekom would pay for MetroPCS – but the whole thing makes a certain kind of sense.
T-Mobile currently has 33.2 million subscribers in the US, the Associated Press reports. That's well behind the roughly 100 million subscribers claimed by both Verizon and AT&T. In adding MetroPCS's 9.3 million subscribers, T-Mobile would greatly increase its market clout. It would also help make up for the fact that it is the only major US carrier not to offer the world's most popular phone, the Apple iPhone.
"[T]here's an imbalance of power in the U.S. wireless industry, with AT&T and Verizon vastly bigger and more powerful than all their competitors," Sascha Segan writes today at PC Magazine. "A larger T-Mobile could better pursue LTE plans while keeping its 'value' focus and still keeping prices down in the industry as a whole."
In 2011, AT&T dropped plans to acquire T-Mobile, after pressure from regulators, who said the deal would "substantially lessen competition" in the US. AT&T had been willing to pay $39 billion for T-Mobile.
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