It's unclear what T-Mobile US and parent Deutsche Telekom think of Iliad's $15 billion bid for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile, though early indications are that DT likely thinks the price is too low. However, analysts said the benefits from an Iliad deal are difficult to discern at this point.
Iliad's surprise $15 billion bid to purchase a majority stake in T-Mobile US could put more pressure on Sprint and its parent SoftBank to strike a deal sooner than they had expected. Although SoftBank has more financial firepower than Iliad and its rumored bid is seen as stronger than Iliad's, SoftBank could face more regulatory challenges in merging Sprint with T-Mobile, according to financial and industry analysts.
"Who the heck is Iliad?" asked the U.S. version of PC Magazine, and indeed that question is probably still reverberating around a market that is wondering why the maverick billionaire owner of a French operator would want to spend billions of dollars on buying T-Mobile US.
Iliad, the French mobile and Internet company, confirmed it has made a $15 billion bid to purchase a majority stake in T-Mobile US.
Orange may not yet be fully out of the woods, but the company remains confident that the race to the bottom in terms of pricing is coming to an end and is maintaining its EBITDA target for 2014.
Orange CEO Stephane Richard said the operator is still prepared to take part in consolidating the French mobile market in order to reduce pricing competition, but called on the operator's rivals to take the lead because Orange does not want to take a driving role.
Numericable has agreed to buy Omer Telecom, which operates under the Virgin Mobile brand in France, for €325 million ($443.8 million) after the successful conclusion of exclusive talks with existing shareholders Carphone Warehouse and the Virgin Group.
Orange has topped the French telecoms regulator's review of network quality in an annual evaluation of mobile operator services, while enfant terrible Free Mobile lagged behind in fourth place.
Altice and Vivendi said they have signed the definitive agreement on the merger of their respective French units Numericable and SFR, dashing any last lingering hopes that opponents to the deal might have had that the planned union would fail at the final hurdle.
Bouygues Telecom this week announced the launch of commercial LTE Advanced (LTE-A) services in a number of towns and cities across France, and SFR and Orange also took the opportunity to provide an update on their LTE-A rollout strategies.