T-Mobile will continue to go it alone in the wilds of the US wireless industry after French telecom Iliad has announced it is dropping plans to buy the carrier from parent company Deutsche Telekom. Iliad's leadership had imposed a deadline of mid-October to decide whether to increase its previously rejected offer of $15 billion for a 56.6% stake in the Uncarrier. That's not happening, so the dream is dead.
Iliad first announced the offer as Sprint was reportedly in the late stages of acquisition talks with T-Mobile. As we now know, the secret-not-so-secret Sprint deal fell apart and former Sprint CEO Dan Hesse stepped down. This seemingly cleared the way for Iliad, but sources claim its offers were never taken seriously—there was never any sort of agreement in the works between Deutsche Telekom and Iliad. In fact, T-Mobile and DK apparently refused to consider any further bids from Iliad, according to the PR released by Iliad.
T-Mobile has been growing steadily over the past year as subscribers take the carrier up on its offer to buy out their contracts. Iliad's intention was to reduce costs by $2 billion annually if it gained ownership of T-Mobile, so maybe we should be thankful this didn't happen. That might have been good for shareholders, but an Iliad-owned T-Mobile probably wouldn't be giving away $200 routers either.