T-Mobile parent DT says another sale unlikely

Deutsche Telekom is likely reluctant to strike another big deal after AT&T's failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA.

Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, delivers a keynote speech at Mobile World Congress 2012. CNET/Marguerite Reardon

Deutsche Telekom isn't keen on repeating last year's failed attempt to wed its T-Mobile USA unit to AT&T, or any other carrier, for that matter.

A complete sale of T-Mobile is unlikely as Deutsche Telekom focuses on turning the business around and ensuring it is a self-funding venture, Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann told shareholders today, according to a Bloomberg report.

T-Mobile has spent the last few months getting back into the wireless game in a real, aggressive way, launching ads that specifically target its competitors, including former suitor AT&T, and laying out plans to move to a next-generation wireless network. The carrier recently unveiled a restructuring plan that would result in a net loss of 350 jobs , although it has committed to hiring more for its business-to-business unit.

T-Mobile is emboldened partly because of the $3 billion in cash, spectrum, and roaming agreements left to it by AT&T as part of a breakup fee for the failed merger. AT&T opted to walk away from the deal in December after regulators let it be known they would block it.

But T-Mobile has a long road to recovery. In the first quarter, the carrier posted a profit, but continued to lose its core contract subscribers, still its largest source of revenue. Its shift to the business-to-business part of the industry has been slower than its competitors'.

While DT may not sell all of T-Mobile, other deals are on the table. The carrier is weighing the sale of its tower assets, as well as spectrum.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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