The way that Morgan Stanley sees it, T-Mobile will either be the taker or the taken this upcoming year.
The Un-carrier, which has gone through an extended bout of growth, has been the hottest item in the consolidations market these days as Verizon and AT&T gobble up media companies by the boatload. So, what can number three T-Mobile do to size up?
Analyst Simon Flannery believes that while the most “attractive outcome” will see Sprint take Big Magenta over, even with a favorable FCC under the anti-regulation intentions of the Trump presidency. Barron’s also said T-Mobile could also buy out US Cellular, though US Cellular might be doing just well on its own, thank you very much. Plus, T-Mobile would have to work on converting US Cellular’s CDMA towers as it had to for its MetroPCS merger.
Outside of intra-industry mergers and acquisitions, cable companies could make waves in the wireless sector with a T-Mobile move. Wireline TV providers might be able to patch up subscription cutters with such a move. Sprint, given its eccentric SoftBank ownership, might make a brash counteroffer in response and AT&T and Verizon might be kept on their toes with another combined wireless/wireline player in the field. Even fiber-based internet providers, the biggest independent company as of this stage being Zayo, could make it TMUS a bigger differentiator.
Plenty of options and a long four years ahead…