Deutsche Telekom, the German parent company of T-Mobile, announced Wednesday it will purchase telecom competitor MetroPCS and merge its assets into the company. The merger will add some 9 million cell subscribers to T-Mobile’s 32 million customers – which will nonetheless leave it in fourth place behind Sprint Nextel, Verizon, and AT&T.
The merger is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice’s antitrust division.
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“It will be interesting to see how the FCC handles this. Reports are that they’ll approve. So, a German-owned company gets to swallow up a U.S. firm, but the FCC and Justice Department blocked an AT&T merger with T-Mobile as anti-competitive. Apparently, as long as the combined firm won’t be bigger than Sprint, it’s acceptable. Can you say ‘captured regulators’?”
“This attempted merger is another opportunity for the government to live up to its apparent motto: All companies are equal – but some are more equal than others.”
“Whereas Deutsche Telekom could’ve recognized a very handsome profit by selling off T-Mobile to AT&T, the gossip and innuendo spread by the fearful anti-market old wives in the administration’s Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice effectively scotched the deal. There is no love but only convenience and possible desperation in the rebound wherein T-Mobile will be subsumed by No. 6 carrier MetroPCS as the complicated formula for joining these two companies will amount to substantially less than the $39 billion offered by AT&T.
“While we should dance at the wedding of T-Mobile and MetroPCS, we should all look wincingly over our shoulders at what might have been if those two crazy kids – T-Mobile and AT&T – had been allowed to join forces without government meddling.”
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