Why an Iliad Purchase of T-Mobile Would Be an Easier Sell in DC


Coverage Type: reporting
Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

While it’s not clear if T-Mobile’s owner Deutsche Telekom is taking seriously a $15 billion bid from French telecommunications firm Iliad, one thing is certain: The deal would be a lot easier to get approved than any merger with Sprint.

Antitrust regulators wouldn’t likely have many issues with an Iliad deal since the French company doesn’t have any US telecommunications assets and its purchase of T-Mobile wouldn’t consolidate the industry by lowering the number of large wireless carriers from four to three.

The Federal Communications Commission would consider whether the deal is in the public interest as well as ensuring it falls within foreign ownership limits. The foreign ownership issue likely wouldn’t really be much of an sticking point, however, since T-Mobile’s current majority owner is German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom. Transferring ownership to a French company wouldn’t really be a big deal -- unlike, say, an acquisition by a Chinese or Russian company with government ties.

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