T-Mobile (Europe/US)

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T-Mobile is the wireless telecoms arm of German giant Deutsche Telekom. It established a broad international presence from 1999 onwards, acquiring several other significant wireless businesses, including One2One in the UK and Voicestream and PowerTel in the US. Continuing growth had made T-Mobile the biggest revenue centre within Deutsche Telekom by the end of 2005. More recently though it has begun to reduce its exposure in further flung countries - where it had remained one of the smaller players - in order to concentrate on more profitable continental European markets closer to home. The first such step was an agreement to merge T-Mobile's operations in the UK with those of rival Orange to create EE, now the local market leader by customers. Still more dramatic was a plan to exit the US in 2011, with the outright sale of the local T-Mobile to AT&T. However that deal was blocked by the US Justice Department and FCC on competition grounds. Instead T-Mobile USA merged in 2013 with smaller rival MetroPCS, creating a locally quoted business now only part-owned by Deutsche Telekom. It has been one of the US wireless industry's strongest performers overtaking Sprint to become the local #3 by customers, though it still trails leaders AT&T and Verizon. Merger talks have continued on and off with Sprint since 2013 to create a stronger competitor to the two US leaders. These finally reached fruition in 2018 with an agreement for T-Mobile to acquire Sprint for around $26bn in stock. That arrangement faced a rough ride from regulators, but was finally approved in summer 2019.

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Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. Subscribers may access the following website links:

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Daily Update 29th Jul 2019: It was a long, long time coming, but US federal regulators finally approved the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile USA. Talks between the two have been ongoing for at least five years. The crucial development this time was a deal to offload certain key assets into satellite TV provider Dish Network. That deal effectively sets up Dish as a new 4th mobile provider to replace the one being eliminated through merger. It will pay $1.4bn to acquire Sprint's Boost and Virgin Mobile prepaid services, with a combined total of around 9m customers, and will have access to the combined T-Mobile/Sprint wireless and retail network for at least seven years, while it builds its own 5G network. It will pay another $3.6bn in 2022 to buy additional spectrum from Sprint. Meanwhile, T-Mobile and Sprint will combine their other resources, creating a network of around 90m customers, closing the gap with AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile has promised not to raise its prices for three years and to roll-out a national 5G service by 2022. Despite federal approval, though, the separate lawsuit brought by 10 state attorneys-general is still ongoing, so the merger is not yet fully cleared.

Adbrands Daily Update 12th Jun 2019: A group of attorneys general from 10 US states threw a new spanner into the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile USA, filing lawsuits opposing the deal. The suit is being led by New York and California with the stated goal "to stop the merger in its tracks". They argue that the combination of the 3rd and 4th largest mobile suppliers will lead to increases in price plans for consumers. This is "exactly the sort of consumer-harming, job-killing megamerger our antitrust laws were designed to prevent," said NY AG Letitia James.

Adbrands Daily Update 20th May 2019: The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission threw an unexpected lifeline to struggling Sprint by offering his support to its proposed takeover by stronger rival T-Mobile USA. That followed further concessions offered by the two companies, including investment in wireless services for rural communities and in 5G infrastructure. Sprint has also offered to divest its secondary Boost Mobile brand. This doesn't yet amount to full approval by the FCC, but chairman Ajit Pai said he would recommend such a move to his four fellow commissioners. The FCC has always previously opposed any reduction in the number of national wireless carriers from four to three. The merger still faces opposition from the Justice Department whose approval is also required.

Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd May 2018: The proposed combination of mobile providers T-Mobile USA and Sprint is hardly a surprise. The two have been engaged in on-again off-again talks for the past five years in an attempt to build a stronger competitor to AT&T and Verizon, and rumours began to emerge of renewed discussions early last month. In the past, though, those negotiations have usually fizzled out as a result of disagreements over respective valuations of each business or the likelihood of regulatory opposition. The changing marketplace, primarily the need of both companies to invest in fast-emerging 5G technology to stay competitive, has added greater urgency to the situation. Under the proposed arrangement, T-Mobile USA will acquire Sprint for around $26bn in stock. The combined business will retain the T-Mobile USA name and will continue to be led by its admired CEO John Legere. T-Mobile's controlling shareholder Deutsche Telekom will end up with a 42% stake in the business, while Sprint's parent, the Japanese company Softbank, will have 27%. The remaining shares would be publicly held. The merged entity would manage around 100m direct retail customers (excluding MVNO or wholesale users), putting into second place between Verizon (currently 116m) and AT&T (93m). But - and it's a big but - the deal must still run the gauntlet of the regulators. In the past, the FCC has repeatedly voiced its support for four separate mobile providers in the US. However, investments by cable and technology companies in emerging 5G infrastructure promise to expand the number of potential suppliers significantly in coming years. Comcast is one such big new entrant in the market. "This isn't a case of going from 4 to 3 wireless companies," said T-Mobile's Legere this weekend. "There are now at least 7 or 8 big competitors in this converging market."

Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Dec 2017: T-Mobile USA is jumping into streaming media with the acquisition of niche provider Layer3, which currently offers a range of cable channels from Fox, Comcast and Disney in selected US cities. T-Mobile aims to expand the service's footprint nationally to its existing mobile and broadband subscribers as well as new customers. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. T-Mobile indicated it would fund the service with a mix of subscriber fees and advertising sales.

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