T-Mobile is in the midst of a proposed merger with Sprint, and according to a new report, the magenta carrier may be eyeing another deal if its Sprint merger is completed.
As part of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger trial, an internal report from 2015 has been made public that suggests that T-Mo could be thinking about merging with Comcast. Discovered by The Verge, the report was put together for a T-Mobile board member and it suggests that T-Mobile could try to merge with Sprint because the carrier is on the "verge of bankruptcy" and it could get T-Mobile additional spectrum and complimentary coverage.
T-Mobile could then potentially combine with Comcast after merging with Sprint, the report explains. Comcast is named as one of the "most likely merger partners" alongside Sprint. It's said that a "move into mobile might be only natural option to grow" for Comcast and that the company could be tempted to bring video content to mobile, among other "strategic advantages".
Other companies like Charter, America Movil, and Altice are also named as possible post-Sprint merger possibilities, but it appears that Comcast would be T-Mobile's primary target. For example, the report says that Altice is a "small cable player in US" and that there is a "greater priority for Altice to acquire wireline".
The report goes on to outline what T-Mobile could do in the following years to set itself up for mergers with Sprint and Comcast. The magenta carrier would continue organic growth until 2018 with its Un-carrier moves and by bidding in spectrum auctions. T-Mo could then strengthen its lobbying for a 4>3 "with the 'right' people in Washington", but T-Mobile is cautioned not to "overplay offending consolidation stakeholders" like the FCC and DOJ.
It's also suggested that T-Mobile should not "enter into MVNO deal that could complicate consolidation" nor should it "trigger a price war in the US market". The list of things T-Mobile should do to better set itself up for a cable merger is to increase its customer base and focus on the younger demographics as well as "safeguard and further expand 'sexy and innovative' T-Mobile image".
One thing to keep in mind is that this internal report is from 2015, so it's difficult to know if T-Mobile currently has any interest in combining with Comcast. The report does make it seem like T-Mobile finds the idea of a merger with Comcast to be attractive, and it mentions that there are "likely no significant regulatory barriers" to stop T-Mobile and Comcast from coming together.
For now, though, T-Mobile is still working on getting its merger with Sprint across the finish line. A group of 14 state attorneys general are suing to block the deal, and the trial for that lawsuit recently wrapped up testimonies. Final arguments are set to begin in mid-January.