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Conflicting reports emerge regarding Deutsche Telekom talks with Comcast to sell T-Mobile


German Manager Magazine (via Reuters) reports today that Deutsche Telekom is in talks with Comcast and others to sell T-Mobile US. Sources say that these potential buyers include satellite TV provider Dish (as corroborated by Reuters), but Comcast is seen as the most attractive option from the point of view of the German telecom, due to its financial strength and ability to buy T-Mobile’s shares in whole:

Deutsche Telekom is in talks with U.S. cable company Comcast about a potential sale of T-Mobile US, German Manager Magazin reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

Deutsche Telekom is in talks with several parties, including satellite provider Dish, according to the magazine, but Comcast is viewed as a more attractive buyer by the German telecoms provider’s management.

Comcast would be a better candidate as it is financially stronger and would be able to make an offer to buy all shares in T-Mobile US, Manager Magazine reported.

As reported by Bloomberg, T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom shares rose slightly following the news:

T-Mobile shares rose as much as 3 percent in early trading, before the U.S. markets opened. Deutsche Telekom traded 1.8 percent higher at 15.31 euros at 1:44 p.m. in Frankfurt. T-Mobile, which is the fourth-largest U.S. mobile-phone company and is about 66 percent owned by Deutsche Telekom, has a market value of $31.5 billion.

A conflicting report has since surfaced, thanks to a “Comcast source” for ArsTechnica. According to the person familiar with Comcast’s thinking, the company isn’t actually interested in buying T-Mobile. As of yet, no official statement has been made by Comcast or T-Mobile, but Deutsche Telekom has said that it “does not comment on rumors and speculation.”

T-Mobile talks reinvigorated challenger strategy: 4G LTE in 2013, network improvements, ramped up advertising spending, hiring spree, brand relaunch

T-Mobile USA today reported holiday-quarter earnings. Among the highlights: The carrier lost 802,000 contract customers because it did not get to carry the iPhone, thus contributing to its 3.3-percent quarterly revenue decline down to $20.6 billion. The Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier also said it would embark on a major network transformation this year and promised to launch 4G LTE network sometime in 2013.

The Bellevue, Wash.-headquartered firm hoped the failed AT&T merger would solve capital expenditure issues, so it did not invest in network infrastructure. The strategy backfired as T-Mobile USA is the last major United States carrier to begin 4G LTE deployment. The company’s CEO & president Philipp Humm talked his reinvigorated challenger strategy for getting the business back to growth in a conference call with Wall Street analyst.

The initiative includes a $4 billion investment over time into network modernization and LTE deployment, representing approximately $1.4 billion in incremental network investment over the next two years. The company expects to reach broad deployment of LTE with service in the majority of the top 50 markets and 20 MHz service in 75 percent of the top 25 markets.

More highlights are after the break.