The race to buy T-Mobile just got a big new competitor.
In addition to the reported on-going talks with Dish Network, Deutsche Telekom (DT) is apparently also speaking with Comcast about a possible sale of T-Mobile.
DT, which holds a 66-percent stake in T-Mobile, is reportedly in talks with multiple cable operators and other interested parties. Comcast has emerged as an early favorite, according to Reuters, citing a report from German magazine Manager Magazin.
The German publication reports Comcast’s early edge relates to the U.S. cable company’s financial strength, which would allow it to make an offer for all of DT’s T-Mobile shares.
As Comcast reportedly enters the fray—not long after abandoning its bid to buy Time Warner over regulatory pressure—Dish has reportedly already begun speaking with banks about financing up to $15 billion for the cash portion of the transaction.
A Dish-T-Mobile deal would give Dish a means to deploy is wireless broadband spectrum and it would give T-Mobile access to more capacity via that spectrum.
But a Comcast-T-Mobile deal would give Comcast, the largest cable/broadband operator in the United States, the ability to bundle wireless and offer a quadruple play.
As Forbes points out in an article highlighting reasons Comcast should go after a wireless carrier—in that article’s case, Sprint—the addition of wireless service to Comcast’s stable would ready the MSO to better compete with AT&T and DirecTV following those companies’ merger.
Comcast has nearly 22.4 million pay-TV subscribers and nearly 22.4 million broadband subscribers. Satellite operator DirecTV has a little more than 20 million pay-TV subscribers.