After first revealing its intentions in August in the middle of SoftBank’s own attempt to purchase the carrier, France’s Iliad has formally abandoned its intentions to purchase T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom after failing to secure enough financing for the deal and having its first two bids rejected by DT in the past few months. The French carrier will now pursue its domestic growth policy. Iliad had offered an updated offer of $36 a share for 67 percent of T-Mobile, according to the above statement today. Iliad had previously offered $33 a share for a 56.6 percent stake in July, which was rejected when the first confirmation of the purchase attempt was announced in August.
Iliad in France is in a similar position to the current T-Mobile as the upstart carrier with incredibly discounted pricing in the French market with its Free Mobile brand, which offers deeply discounted mobile and cable service, with such perks as a free service plan with unlimited messaging and 2 hours of voice service along with 2GB of data per month and included fixed line calling to over 100 countries when used in the French metropolitan coverage area, to give an example of what Iliad is willing to offer the market.
Iliad’s Free Mobile brand was responsible for triggering a price war in France when it launched in 2012, enough that the entrenched carriers in Orange and SFR had no choice but to compete in what has since become a race to the bottom in terms of prices and service and introduced competition in a market that was known for inflated pricing and very little actual competition. However, that competition has also meant that profits and revenue have been a point of contention for the popular brand, with expansion proving difficult owing to lower overall revenue despite higher customer volume.
This marks the third purchase attempt for T-Mobile that has ended in abject failure, with the first and most visible being the failed AT&T purchase in 2012, then the failed and protracted purchase attempt by SoftBank that ended this past August.