As Sprint edges closer to a merger deal with T-Mobile, sources say the parties involved are bracing for a longer than expected approval process. This has triggered lenders to seek higher fees as part of the financing deals. Both Softbank, Sprint’s controlling shareholder, and T-Mobile shareholder Deutsche Telekom AG expect the regulatory approval process to take at least 12 months. Building in some cushion to the schedule, it is expected a drop-dead date will be set for around 18 months after an official announcement is made.
Not too long ago, Deutsche Telekom sweetened the deal for shareholders in MetroPCS to try to grease the wheels of its proposed T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger. And, good news for both companies today, the shareholders in MetroPCS have approved that deal. While it won’t be finalized today, the deal will reportedly be completed by May 1st, so it shouldn’t take too much longer, especially since it’s already past the difficult regulatory approval stage.
T-Mobile has already put their foot on the gas trying to be competitive with some of the bigger carriers, so hopefully this merger will give them a little more ammunition.
Deutshe Telekom, who is already in the process of overseeing the T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger, was recently approached by Dish Network’s chairman to discuss a possible merge between Dish and T-Mobile. This proposition was before April 10th, when Deutshe Telekom announced their revised T-Mobile deal. Currently, there’s nothing concrete about these “talks.” Deutshe Telekom is fully invested in taking care of their current merger, and will only consider the deal after the current MetroPCS transaction is over and after they’ve verified a deal with Sprint Nextel isn’t possible.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Dish try to wedge themselves into the mobile market, and I seriously doubt it’ll be the last, assuming this merger never happens. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as soon as any other details come to light.
Deutsche Telekom has been working to merge its U.S. carrier, T-Mobile, with MetroPCS, and last month received complete regulatory approval. The German company thought the original deal was good, but MetroPCS shareholders disagreed. In an effort to save the merger and finalize it, they approved a better deal today. This new deal will lower the amount of debt transferred to the new company and lower the interest rate on that debt. Lowering the amount of debt transferred means a more valuable equity stake. MetroPCS shareholders are currently being offered about $4 per share in cash and a 26% stake in the combined company. Votes are already being held in advance of a scheduled shareholder meeting Friday and according to an insider, it’s not looking like the deal will go through in its current form.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Via Licensing Corporation announced two new additions to their LTE patent pool. China Mobile and Deutsche Telekom have both joined the pool as owners of standards essential patents that are part of the LTE industry standard. Via Licensing, which maintains licensing programs for several technologies, launched the LTE pool last October. Thus far they have obtained commitments from AT&T, Clearwire Corporation, DTVG Licensing, HP, KDDI Corporation, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, and ZTE Corporation in addition to these latest entrants.
In joining the licensing pool, Deutsche Telecom hopes to battle the problem of “costly patent litigation and a lack of predictability surrounding the cost and availability of essential IP.” The pool helps companies like China Mobile and Deutsche Telekom by reducing the risk of litigations and paving the way for licensing deals for their own patents.
It was confirmed yesterday that MetroPCS and T-Mobile were in talks of a merger, now the deal has been approved. MetroPCS and their 9.3 million subscribers will be under the T-Mobile umbrella, headed by T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere. T-Mobile and MetroPCS have fewer subscribers than Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, but this deal will bring them to over 35 million customers. This isn’t the first time T-Mobile has tried a merger, but this deal seems more likely to go through, giving T-Mobile more subscribers and network coverage. Deutsche Telekom will have a large stake in the new company which may or may not diminish over time. Expect for this deal to be finalized early next year.
Source: The Verge
AT&T has agreed with Deutsche Telekom AG to end a bid to buy T-Mobile USA after a nine month pursuit. The conclusion comes on the heels of actions taken by the Justice Department and the FCC in recent months which were aimed at combating the bid effort to ensure consumer choice and controlled prices in the market.
Following the announcement, Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO promised, “AT&T will continue to be aggressive in leading the mobile Internet revolution… Over the past four years we have invested more in our networks than any other U.S. company.”
Stephenson also elaborated on future investments and the feasibility for their continued success:
“To meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest… However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things. First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation’s longer-term spectrum needs.”
With the possibility of AT&T’s T-Mobile accusation hanging by a thread, recent reports are saying that AT&T might opt try for a joint venture with T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, instead. Although the deal is far from final, it seems like a more reasonable proposition given the many roadblocks faced during the planned merger. AT&T had to recently withdraw its merger application from the FCC to focus solely on the lawsuit brought forth by the Department of Justice that gets underway in February. A 109 page document was issued by the FCC citing all the ways in which they were not in favor of the merger, not to mention the fact that AT&T failed to convince them that the accusation would create new jobs.
It appears to be a long road ahead for AT&T and the consistent merger headache should be a sign that a joint venture may be in their best interest. Actually, what’s really wrong with the business plan they have managed to maintain for all these years so far? I mean come on, they already earned the nickname Ma Bell!
AT&T has been hard at work to make sure their pending T-Mobile acquisition doesn’t fall through. Sources close to the situation say that AT&T is working on a “two-track plan” to address concerns raised in the recent complaint filed by U.S. antitrust regulators.
While the specifics of the plan can’t be confirmed, AT&T is said to be preparing itself to make concessions in an effort to ease the federal fears that the merger will reduce competition and raise wireless cost. Among the concessions being considered are the sale of T-Mobile assets and the possible retention of T-Mobile value-orientated rate plans.
Some sources say that to make the deal work, AT&T may have to sell nearly 25% of T-Mobile’s network and customer base. While the regional assets will likely be sought after by smaller carriers looking to grow out their coverage, the national assets have fewer potential buyers.
Two main possibilities are Sprint and Verizon, but that may not happen anytime soon, as an acquisition like that would raise antitrust scrutiny of its own.
AT&T has a lot on the line as they would have to shell out $6 Billion in compensatory fees to T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, if the deal falls through. Some sources say that AT&T is feeling confident about their new solution. With $6 billion on the line, I hope for their sake that they are right.
Charge Anywhere announced that they will soon be releasing an app that will turn the Nexus S into a full payment terminal using the phone’s built-in near field communications (NFC) technology. Owners will be able to process Mastercard Paypass and Visa Blink payments remotely.
Dmitriy Lerman, Director of Marketing for Charge Anywhere, said the software update is ready to make available to large customers, and will soon release it for all customers.