We’ve long known Sprint’s intentions on scooping up T-Mobile, but it was only recently these talks became much more serious thanks in part to parent company SoftBank heading negotiations. Where the likelihood of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger faces a few regulatory hurdles, a new offer from a carrier not already invested in the US could have a little more luck.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that French telecom Iliad has made a bid for T-Mobile to the tune of $15 billion. This would give the French company a 56.6% majority stake in T-Mobile who carries a market value of $24.8 billion. Iliad seems confident their offer wont face the same antitrust issues as SoftBank/Sprint, given there wouldn’t be a removal of the 4th largest carrier in the US.
Iliad’s founder and self-made billionaire, Xavier Niel, has reportedly had his eye on the US market for awhile now. He’s been credited with sparking a pricing war in France, with Iliad undercutting much of the competition. Sounds like a perfect fit for T-Mobile.
UPDATE: Sources from the New York Times are now saying the bid may have already been rejected according to “a person briefed on the matter.”