MetroPCS Looking to Score AT&T/T-Mobile Assets
Oct 21, 2011, 7:16 AM by Eric M. Zeman
MetroPCS has emerged as the most likely candidate to absorb wireless spectrum assets and mobile subscribers from AT&T and T-Mobile, as the two larger companies look to save their acquisition plans. Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that MetroPCS's stronger balance sheet makes it a better candidate than Leap Wireless or Dish Network, with whom AT&T has also spoken. AT&T proposed to buy T-Mobile in March for $39 billion. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against AT&T in August, looking to block the deal, which it termed anticompetitive. AT&T and T-Mobile have been seeking ways to salvage their plans, and divesting assets to competitors is one of the avenues it hopes can resurrect the deal. The companies have not finalized a deal, but Bloomberg's sources pegged the value of the potential divestiture at $4 billion. T-Mobile would be willing to help MetroPCS fund the asset purchase. There is no information about what markets/assets are under consideration, but they likely fall in regions where the merged AT&T/T-Mobile entity would control more than 50% of the wireless capacity.
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