A $15 billion (€11.2) offer for a majority stake in T-Mobile USA, which is also being pursued by Japanese-owned wireless operator Sprint, could finally enable German telecoms group Deutsche Telekom to divest its U.S. subsidiary.
Despite skepticism about the bid by French firm Iliad, which is controlled by billionaire Xavier Niel, the competing offer could speed up sales talks between Sprint and T-Mobile, and offers an alternative if a deal with Sprint were to fail.
Deutsche Telekom is keen to leave the U.S. market. T-Mobile has struggled in the United States, where larger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T have benefitted from closer relationships to domestic smartphone makers Apple and Google, which owns the Android operating system.
In 2012, T-Mobile USA had a $7.3 billion loss, after a $4.7 billion loss in 2011. Last year, it reported a $35 million profit.