T-Mobile considered a merger with Comcast after Sprint: leaked report – Business Insider
T-Mobile has been planning a merger with Sprint for years in a bid to better compete with competitors like Verizon and AT&T. The merger was given the green light by the Federal Communications Commission in November, but it has been met with intense pressure by state and federal regulators.
As part of the scrutiny into T-Mobile, new documents made public on Monday, and first reported by The Verge, revealed a road map for the company, including a potential merger with the telecommunications and media giant Comcast.
The documents from December 2015 show that T-Mobile had considered a two-step merger: First, merge with Sprint, then merge with a cable company, the top choice being Comcast.
The road map, titled “Defining a Winning Business Position for the US Business Model,” appeared to be presented to executives of the company and was compiled in part with the management-consulting company McKinsey & Co. T-Mobile initially tried to withhold the documents from the public, arguing that the report’s authorship by a third party, McKinsey, required confidentiality. That argument was not accepted, and the documents were made public on Monday.
The logic T-Mobile provided for a subsequent merger with Comcast offers a rare candid look into how the company thinks about its US business in the long term.
The document points to T-Mobile’s worth to Comcast: “Move into mobile might be only natural option for Comcast to grow,” it said. “Preferred Comcast moves are unlikely to get approval.”
In layman’s terms, T-Mobile sees its value to Comcast as a means of skirting federal regulators’ concerns with conglomerates. Rather that Comcast having to move into mobile markets itself, the cable giant could simply merge with T-Mobile as a side door in.
The document showed that the mobile carrier also considered mergers with other major names in cable, including Bright House and Charter. However, it’s unclear how — or if — the company’s position has changed since late 2015, when the report was issued, or how seriously the report was taken by the company at the time. T-Mobile representatives did not respond to a request for comment.