The French-owned company, Iliad, France’s fourth largest mobile phone company, recently announced its intentions to purchase a majority stake in T-mobile. While experts feel it is likely that Sprint and T-Mobile US are apt to wind up in a $32 billion merger of the third and fourth-largest cell phone operators in the US, Iliad has bid $15 billion for the T-Mobile stake.
Iliad, founded by Xavier Niel, a billionaire French businessman who is also part owner of France’s newspaper Le Monde, told the press: “The U. S. mobile market is large and attractive. T-Mobile has successfully established a disruptive position, which in many respects, is similar to the one Iliad has built in France.”
As this goes to press, Deutsche Telekom of Germany, the majority owner of T-Mobile US, has turned down Iliad’s bid. It is, however, likely that the bid will nonetheless make the expected merger effort between Sprint and T-Mobile US more complicated. Still, despite this new revelation the fact remains that the merger would result in a stronger competitor for AT&T and perhaps even Verizon. After all, T-Mobile has experienced a significant increase in the quantity of subscribers.
Iliad has recently improved their market share as well. Thanks to a noted improvement in customer service and some economic offers they currently are slotted in at number four after Orange, SFR and Bouygues. They report having 14.3 million customers in the first quarter of this year. 8.6 million are mobile phone service subscribers and 5.7 million are “fixed-line users.”
Here in the US over 50 million cell phone customers currently use T Mobile US’ services. Financial experts think that a merger of T-Mobile US and Sprint could create “cost savings in the tens of billions of dollars” because the two corporations could reduce then redundant functions such as back-office operations and marketing. John J. Legere, the chief executive of T-Mobile US, told the press that it is “a scale game” that would succeed in their industry.