Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Officer Timotheus Höttges is more than pleased with the company's U.S. division, stating that T-Mobile US is an "extremely successful" business that's been recording record growth for several years now and is being led by "fantastic" management. While speaking to German journalists on Monday, the top executive of the German telecom giant said that the firm's U.S. business is larger than its European operations, indicating that Deutsche Telekom has no intention of yielding control of T-Mobile in the future. While the Bonn-based company previously discussed selling its U.S. division to Dish, Sprint, and AT&T, T-Mobile improved its performance in a significant manner in recent years and proved to be a major asset for its parent, with that change also being reflected in the tone of Deutsche Telekom's comments on the firm that had a radical shift since 2013.
Höttges and other representatives of the German mobile service provider have now started signaling that they want to retain control of T-Mobile US by any means necessary, even at the cost of not merging the company with Sprint in a deal that's been heavily rumored to happen since late 2016 and President Trump's election win that saw a government shift in the United States and the arrival of a significantly more merger-friendly Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The executive's latest comments on T-Mobile and its performance were made mere hours before reports emerged that Sprint may be dropping the idea of a consolidation as the company started exclusive wireless deal talks with Comcast and Charter Communications. Some industry insiders are claiming that a potential merger of Sprint and T-Mobile is still significantly more likely to happen than any cable firm purchasing the fourth largest wireless carrier in the country, though neither party has yet clarified on the situation in any capacity.
Deutsche Telekom CEO's latest statement implies that even if the German firm was to greenlight a merger with Sprint, it would only do so by acquiring Sprint instead of letting T-Mobile be bought by SoftBank and would likely insist on keeping John Legere as the chief executive of the hypothetical unit. An update on the situation is expected to follow in late summer, presumably after Sprint's exclusive talks with U.S. cable companies come to an end.