América Móvil once again had to quiet speculation that it is interested in acquiring T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS). Just as the company was forced to do in the second quarter, the Mexican-based telecoms giant addressed rumors of a deal on its quarterly conference call; CEO Daniel Hajj said the company is not in talks with T-Mobile.
"We are not talking with anybody at this stage so I don't have any comment on that," Hajj said on the call, according to Reuters.
On Thursday, Germany's Manager Magazin Online reported, without citing is sources, that T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom was in talks with América Móvil to sell T-Mobile because it wants to avoid a deal with a U.S. competitor. América Móvil does compete in the U.S. but via its TracFone Wireless MVNO.
The magazine also suggested that Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) or Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) might be a suitor of T-Mobile. Merger talks between T-Mobile and Sprint (NYSE: S) broke down this summer amid regulatory opposition.
According to Dow Jones Newswires, a DT spokesperson declined to comment, other than to say that the German carrier is under no pressure to sell T-Mobile US.
Earlier this week DT CEO Timotheus Hoettges reiterated that T-Mobile could succeed as a standalone business. "We are looking into the options, but nevertheless we have an independent, self-funding future for our activities in the U.S.," he told Bloomberg. "It is a great business, it is a great perspective, we could have a lot of potential to realize in the future."
In terms of América Móvil's TracFone business, the company returned to strong subscriber growth in the quarter. TracFone added 385,000 total customers in the period, significantly better than the 8,000 it netted in the second quarter and the 5,000 subscribers it added in the year-ago quarter.
The company said TracFone's third-quarter revenue grew 15.5 percent year-over-year to $1.7 billion, with service revenue rising 14.7 percent. Data revenue growth of 17.8 percent helped spur a 2.6 percent increase in average revenue per user. Churn was 4 percent, compared 4.1 percent a year ago.
TracFone's EBITDA came in at $157 million, which was down 23.4 percent from the year-earlier quarter, mostly due to higher subscriber acquisition costs related to the jump in net subscriber additions.
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