Advertisement

Deustsche Telekom has reportedly pressed pause on its plans to sell T-Mobile U.S. in light of the upcoming incentive auction.

According to a report from Reuters, the decision is a strategic move to bide time until the political climate turns in favor of telecom mergers.

During the auction, a Reuters source said there will be no mergers or acquisitions in the U.S. telecommunications industry. Additionally, auction participants are barred from engaging in partnership or merger talks in the weeks leading up to bidding.

And T-Mobile is certainly gunning to take part in the auction.

Though the Un-carrier has said it can spend up to $10 billion to get the spectrum it wants, CFO Braxton Carter said T-Mobile could likely finish covering the United States with LTE with auction acquisitions amounting to just $1 billion to $1.5 billion.

“TMobile is definitely ready and participating and sees this auction as a unique, important opportunity and event,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere has said. “TMobile is going to go hard in this low-band spectrum auction and put that spectrum to good use for our customers!”

Deutsche Telekom has been trying to shed the T-Mobile U.S. business for several years, but a proposed transaction with Sprint in 2014 was shot down by regulators. An attempt to sell the business to Dish Network last year also came up empty-handed.

Deutsche Telekom originally tried to sell T-Mobile U.S. to AT&T in 2011, but ran into roadblocks with the U.S. Justice Department. Following that failure, however, T-Mobile embarked on a turnaround effort that has successfully transformed the Un-carrier into a major player in the U.S. wireless market.

In its fourth quarter earnings report last month, T-Mobile revealed it had nearly tripled its net income in 2015 to hit $297 million. The Un-carrier also raked in 1.3 million postpaid net additions, 917,000 of which were postpaid phone additions.

Advertisement
Advertisement