|Wireless Phone Industry|
The news throws a huge wrench into the months-long narrative that Sprint is preparing to buy its smaller competitor. T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom and Sprint have already reached a tentative agreement that would ultimately combine the third and fourth place US carriers, according to previous reports.
But Iliad gives T-Mobile another path in taking the fight to its rivals. The Wall Street Journal first reported Iliad's interest in T-Mobile on Thursday afternoon.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere has never publicly confirmed any deal with Sprint, a point he underlined during today's financial earnings call. Such an acquisition would face intense scrutiny from federal regulators; AT&T's attempt to buy T-Mobile was rebuffed over concerns that it would irreparably harm competition in the US wireless industry, and Sprint will have to contend with the very same argument if it moves forward. Iliad seems to think its odds are better since it currently has no presence whatsoever in the United States.
Read more: French company Iliad wants to buy T-Mobile and ruin Sprint's grand plan | The Verge