Comcast is reportedly talking to Deutsche Telekom to buy T-Mobile US. An analyst says a merger could raise regulatory issues. Fred Katayama reports.
T-Mobile US has become part of a multi-line conversation. Now, Comcast is reportedly interested in it. The German business monthly Manager Magazin says Deutsche Telekom is talking to Comcast about its T-Mobile US unit. The report says the German telecom giant is in talks with several parties, including the satellite TV operator Dish. Deutsche Telekom prefers Comcast over Dish Networks because the cable company is financially stronger and would be able to buy all of T-Mobile US' shares, according to the report. It was just two months ago that Comcast had ditched its bid for Time Warner Cable after facing regulatory opposition. Senior analyst Craig Moffett of research firm Moffett/Nathanson said Comcast might not have the appetite to go through the regulatory process again. He added, "A Comcast-T-Mobile US combo may also be problematic. The logic for the rejection at the Justice Department was that Comcast would be too powerful in the broadband market and the best available hope for more competition in broadband came from four wireless providers." Deutsche Telekom, which owns roughly two-thirds of T-Mobile US, may be looking for a big price tag. T-Mobile, which sports a valuation of $31 billion, is still worth less than what Deutsche Telekom paid for it 14 years ago. Shares of Deutsche Telekom spurted higher in Frankfort. T-Mobile's stock also up in the U.S. in early trading.