|Bid||15.47 x 0|
|Ask||15.79 x 0|
|Day's range||15.50 - 15.84|
|52-week range||14.00 - 16.75|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||N/A|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||N/A|
It's been a good week for Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) shareholders, because the company has just released its latest...
(Bloomberg) -- T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. agreed to new terms for their pending merger that take account of the slide in Sprint shares since the transaction was first agreed, putting the industry-altering deal a step closer to completion.T-Mobile owners will get roughly 11 shares of Sprint for each of their stock, the companies said Thursday. That’s an increase from a ratio of 9.75 previously and is more favorable for T-Mobile’s German owner Deutsche Telekom AG.The equity value of the amended deal is about $37 billion compared with the original agreement of $26.5 billion, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Erhan Gurses. The higher valuation partly reflects the 62% gain in T-Mobile shares since the all-stock transaction was announced almost two years ago, despite the deterioration in Sprint’s business.Getting one of the biggest U.S. wireless mergers ever over the finish line would be a boon for Deutsche Telekom as it will reduce its reliance on Europe, where carriers are struggling to grow amid fierce competition. T-Mobile makes up more than half of Deutsche Telekom’s sales, up from about a third in 2014. A completed deal will also benefit Sprint owner SoftBank Group Corp. by allowing its chairman, Masayoshi Son, to better focus on his technology investments and the $100 billion Vision Fund.The combined company, which will operate under the T-Mobile name, will have a regular monthly subscriber base of about 80 million -- in the same league as AT&T Inc., which has 75 million subscribers, and Verizon Communications Inc., which has 114 million.When the transaction closes, which could happen as soon as April 1, Deutsche Telekom is expected to keep 43% of the merged entity, while SoftBank has 24%. The rest will be held by public shareholders.Deutsche Telekom shares fell 1.3% to trade at 16.41 euros in Frankfurt. Sprint shares were up 5% to $9.96 at 11:01 a.m. in New York, while T-Mobile was down 1.8% to $97.73.The original accord, which united the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless carriers, was forged in April 2018. That pact lapsed on Nov. 1, and the companies didn’t initially renew the terms while they fought for government approval. When a federal judge rejected a state lawsuit to block the transaction earlier this month, that put the talks on the front burner.Along the way, Sprint’s condition has worsened. That added pressure to redraw the agreement so that it was more favorable to Deutsche Telekom.SoftBank agreed to surrender 48.8 million T-Mobile shares that it will acquire in the merger to the combined company immediately after the transaction closes. But those shares could be reissued to SoftBank by 2025 if the new company’s stock stays above $150 for a period of time.That arrangement -- having SoftBank relinquish the stock after the deal closes -- was structured so that the deal wouldn’t have to go before another shareholder vote.Sprint investors other than SoftBank will still get the original ratio of 0.10256 T-Mobile shares for each Sprint share -- the equivalent of about 9.75 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile share.Sprint’s monthly churn -- a closely watched measure of how many customers leave -- has risen to nearly 2%. That means roughly a quarter of its subscriber base is quitting the carrier each year. And the company isn’t making up for the decline by charging more: Average revenue per customer has fallen 5% since the deal was announced.Analysts such as LightShed Partners’ Walt Piecyk said the merger’s exchange ratio should be closer to 12, given Sprint’s deteriorated business.(Updates with valuation detail in third paragraph, updates share prices.)To contact the reporters on this story: Scott Moritz in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Stefan Nicola in Berlin at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Deutsche Telekom is aiming to become market leader in the United States, CEO Tim Hoettges said on Wednesday, now that a deal for its T-Mobile US unit to take over Sprint is within reach. Striking a bullish tone after a New York judge threw out a petition brought by a dozen U.S. states to block the deal, Hoettges said the 'new' T-Mobile would go on the attack and look to close a valuation gap with AT&T and Verizon.
(Bloomberg) -- With the U.S. campaign against Huawei Technologies Co. threatening to disrupt the rollout of 5G wireless networks, phone carriers are joining forces to develop technology that can reduce their reliance on a handful of powerful equipment suppliers.The Chinese company dominates the European market for telecommunications gear, ahead of Ericsson AB of Sweden and Finland’s Nokia Oyj. Governments are weighing whether to follow the U.K. and limit Huawei’s share of 5G networks over concerns -- denied by the company -- that it represents a security risk.If they do, it could knock the progress of 5G off course: The big three have designed a lot of their wireless gear so it can’t easily be integrated in the same network, much like an electric toothbrush only works with its own brush heads. So building 5G with Nokia or Ericsson kit on top of Huawei 4G infrastructure is fraught with complexity and costs.Companies including Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc have decided to combine separate projects to develop a more standardized, flexible network architecture that would make it easier for carriers to use products from multiple vendors, according to people familiar with the matter.Under the plans, the O-RAN industry alliance, backed by Deutsche Telekom and AT&T Inc. among others, will align its work with the Telecom Infra Project, which was started by Facebook Inc. and is supported by several phone companies, said the people, who asked not to be named as the plans aren’t yet public.The industry is pursuing the efforts with greater urgency partly because they’re alarmed by the prospect of restrictions on Huawei in more markets such as Germany, one of the people said. The U.K.’s decision to limit Huawei’s share of broadband infrastructure already led BT Group Plc to predict a 500 million-pound ($650 million) hit to its finances.The carriers were planning to announce the O-RAN/TIP initiative at the wireless industry’s biggest annual showcase in Barcelona next week, before it was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the people said. An announcement could instead come as early as this week.O-RAN’s goal from the start has been to “invite in more players with new ideas to help make the network stronger and more secure,” said Deutsche Telekom spokeswoman Pia Habel. She declined further comment.A spokeswoman for TIP declined to comment. A representative for O-RAN could not immediately be reached for comment.Negotiating PowerEnsuring that antennas, switches and other gear from competing suppliers can communicate seamlessly may also make it harder for any vendor -- Ericsson and Nokia included -- to clinch contracts just because the customer already uses its equipment. That could strengthen the negotiating position of carriers in contracts for 5G networks that are set to cost the industry hundreds of billions of dollars.AT&T has said it wants to replace the proprietary software that Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei use to run their wireless network gear with an open software.Vodafone has begun issuing small contracts for OpenRAN, an initiative backed by TIP to standardize radio access network hardware and software. CEO Nick Read said in October that Vodafone was “ready to fast track it into Europe as we seek to actively expand our vendor ecosystem.”O-RAN began in 2018 as a lobbying and research effort to make the radio access network -- the largest part of a wireless system -- more transparent and inter-operable. TIP is a broader project involving hundreds of companies working across all elements of networks.O-RAN and TIP may already be changing the economics of the industry and giving newer players more room. It’s now possible to design a “virtual” wireless network, which uses standardized, open-source software in conjunction with hardware from different vendors.Rakuten Inc. is using such technology to roll out a virtual network in Japan. U.S. satellite broadcaster Dish Network Corp., a member of the O-RAN alliance, aims to build a 5G network along similar lines.Ericsson and Nokia, reluctant to pick a fight with their biggest customers, have publicly welcomed O-RAN and TIP. Ericsson has joined O-RAN, while Nokia supports TIP and has been helping Rakuten build the Japanese network.Nokia Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri said in April last year it’s “better to be involved than not,” although he didn’t expect the model to be replicated in other parts of the world.\--With assistance from Thomas Seal, Angelina Rascouet, Niclas Rolander and Scott Moritz.To contact the reporters on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at email@example.com;Rodrigo Orihuela in Madrid at firstname.lastname@example.org;Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
For an event meant to showcase the power of telecoms, cancelling this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona without a back-up plan has perplexed many in the trillion-dollar sector. Wednesday's decision to call off the telecoms industry's biggest annual gathering over fears of coronavirus, which has yet to reach mainland Spain, has left a hole in marketing budgets and dealt a $500 million blow to the local economy. Sony and Nokia said after pulling out of the event that they would hold product launches online instead, while South Korea's Samsung Electronics showcased a new folding phone at separate event in San Francisco last week.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Is Sprint Corp. a duck or a rabbit?Bear with us. Earlier this week, SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son showed investors a bemusing slide with an ambiguous image of a duck and rabbit. If you look at the picture from the right, you see a different critter than the view from the left.In his characteristically gnomic fashion, he was trying to suggest that there were two ways of evaluating SoftBank, and investors were doing so from the wrong perspective. But the analogy could also hold true for Sprint, the U.S. carrier in which SoftBank is the biggest shareholder, and whose planned merger with rival T-Mobile US Inc. finally secured the regulatory green light on Tuesday.When it was agreed back in April 2018, the all-stock deal gave Sprint an equity value of $27 billion. Since then, the two firms’ trajectories have diverged. Prior to Tuesday’s decision, T-Mobile stock had gained 31%, while Sprint had fallen 26%. Because Sprint shareholders are set to get T-Mobile shares in exchange for their existing stock, the value of the deal had therefore climbed to $36 billion, while the market only valued Sprint at $20 billion.So you can see why Deutsche Telekom AG, which owns 63% of T-Mobile, is now seeking to renegotiate the terms of the deal, whose existing terms lapsed in November. It looks like it might now be overpaying, so Tim Hoettges, the German firm’s CEO, has a fiduciary duty to his shareholders to at least give it a try.Here’s the metaphorical duck. Son is more vulnerable than he might have been just a week ago. That’s because the activist investor Elliott Management Corp. has built a stake in SoftBank, seeking governance improvements and a $20 billion buyback. SoftBank is meanwhile trying to find the capital for its new, reduced Vision Fund, the follow-up to the $100 billion pot of venture capital cash that Son used to make outsize bets on Uber Technologies Inc., WeWork parent We Co. and some 80 other firms over the past three years. The deconsolidation of Sprint reduces its debt exposure, while selling the remaining stake could free up capital to invest in the new fund or buybacks. The current deal terms value its stake at about $30 billion.What’s more, Sprint needs the merger more than T-Mobile. The declining share price has been driven by lackluster earnings and falling subscriber numbers. In the almost two years since the deal was agreed, Sprint’s number of subscribers has fallen by 460,000 to 54 million at the end of December. T-Mobile has meanwhile added 12 million customers for a total of 86 million.Now for the rabbit. A major renegotiation only becomes realistic if Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile are prepared to walk away from the deal. T-Mobile stock’s 13% jump after the takeover was approved on Tuesday suggests that shareholders are happy with the deal even under the current terms. It will create value by reducing the cost of new 5G networks; giving the new company more pricing power over its customers; and letting the German-controlled firm get hold of Sprint’s valuable wireless frequencies.Ultimately, the deal remains in both firms’ interests. Deutsche Telekom would probably prefer an expensive takeover to no deal at all. Were the terms to be reevaluated based on the diverging stock prices, then T-Mobile could expect a swap ratio of at least 12 Sprint shares for each of its own (assuming a $27 billion valuation), up from the 9.75 shares agreed two years ago. Is such a drastic change likely? No. But given SoftBank’s need for cash, there’s a good chance it will be open to concessions to get the deal done.To contact the authors of this story: Alex Webb at email@example.comTim Culpan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Telekom AG wants to renegotiate the terms for the sale of Sprint Corp. to its U.S. wireless unit T-Mobile US Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.The German carrier, the majority owner of T-Mobile, is seeking a lower price because Sprint’s shares have been trading below their level when the deal was proposed in 2018, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private.Getting one of the biggest U.S. wireless mergers ever over the finish line would be a boon to both companies. For Deutsche Telekom, the deal reduces its reliance on Europe, where carriers are struggling to grow amid fierce competition. For the chairman of Sprint owner SoftBank Group Corp., Masayoshi Son, it allows him to better focus on his technology investments and the $100 billion Vision Fund. The renegotiation talks are expected to start soon, the people said. They would follow a victory for the companies in a U.S. court this week, when a federal judge rejected a state lawsuit against the tie-up. Now the deal is in the home stretch, with only minor approvals left to secure and final financial terms to be ironed out. SoftBank declined to comment. Deutsche Telekom didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.Deutsche Telekom shares fell 1.4% in Frankfurt as of 12:58 p.m. on Thursday. What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:Deutsche Telekom has limited leverage to renegotiate the terms of its Sprint acquisition, we think, even as the valuation of the latter jumped to $75 billion from $60 billion in 2018 under the deal terms, despite worsening operational performance. The allure of consolidation, including the acquisition of an attractive spectrum portfolio, suggests only a modest potential improvement in stock-exchange ratio.\-- Erhan Gurses, BI telecoms analystClick here for the researchFrequency ConstraintsWhile Sprint’s standalone value has dropped, SoftBank also sees itself in a good position because T-Mobile needs Sprint’s wireless frequencies or would face capacity constraints within as little as two years, one of the people said.T-Mobile’s importance for Deutsche Telekom has grown steadily in recent years and it now accounts for about half of group sales, up from around a third in 2014. T-Mobile and Sprint haven’t renewed the merger agreement since it lapsed on Nov. 1, and there have been discussions regarding several issues that T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere described as “not hostile” that month on an investor call. T-Mobile has suggested there could be new terms.The combined company, which will operate under the T-Mobile name, will have a regular monthly subscriber base of about 80 million -- in the same league as AT&T Inc., which has 75 million subscribers, and Verizon Communications Inc., which has 114 million. T-Mobile will have more wireless frequencies than any other U.S. carrier, giving it an advantage as the industry transitions to the next generation of wireless technology, the much-faster 5G standard.Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Sprint and SoftBank would likely have to accept a lower price than when the merger agreement was first forged in April 2018. Sprint’s monthly churn -- a closely watched measure of how many customers leave -- has risen to nearly 2%, which means roughly a quarter of its subscriber base is quitting the carrier each year.The German company is likely to leverage that to negotiate a lower price, but Sprint also has valuable radio frequency spectrum without which T-Mobile US will face serious bottlenecks, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Wednesday.The Financial Times previously reported that Deutsche Telekom is pushing to renegotiate terms of the deal, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.(Updates with analyst comment in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Stefan Nicola.To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Scott Moritz in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at firstname.lastname@example.org, Thomas Pfeiffer, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The decision to cancel a major telecoms conference in Barcelona slated for later this month after mass withdrawals due to fears over a coronavirus outbreak was motivated only by a desire to protect people's health and safety, organisers said on Thursday. "This is not about money - it's about health and safety and the reputation of our show," Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA telecoms association that hosts the event told a news conference the day after announcing its cancellation.
(Bloomberg) -- The wireless industry scrapped its biggest annual showcase after the coronavirus outbreak sparked an exodus of participants, roiling telecom companies just as they’re preparing to roll out new 5G services.It’s the first time in MWC Barcelona’s 33-year history that organizers have called off the event, which draws more than 100,000 participants from across the world to check out the latest innovations, pitch to investors and do deals.“The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible” to hold the event, John Hoffman, chief executive officer of conference organizer GSMA, said in a statement to Bloomberg News.The list of big-name attendees started to crumble on Feb. 7, when Swedish wireless equipment maker Ericsson AB pulled out, saying it couldn’t ensure the safety of staff and customers. As others pulled the plug -- from Sony Corp. to Nokia Oyj, Vodafone Group Plc and Deutsche Telekom AG -- it became harder for those remaining to justify their presence.Bloomberg News reported earlier that GSMA could announce the cancellation as soon as Wednesday, after a meeting of members. As of Tuesday, the death toll in China from the virus rose to 1,113, and confirmed cases on the mainland have reached 44,653.MWC was due to run from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27. GSMA had stepped up sanitary precautions to reassure visitors -- advising against handshakes, introducing body temperature scanners and a protocol for changing microphones, and restricting entry to recent arrivals from China. Some delegations had replaced Chinese staff with colleagues from other countries or sent their China representatives ahead of time to avoid being barred.Who’ll Pay?Every year, telecom heavyweights use MWC and the oceans of publicity that come with it to generate marketing buzz around their latest wares. A big focus this year was going to be fifth-generation mobile services, and now several companies will need to reschedule launch events. Chipmaking giant Intel had planned to announce products for 5G networks and will hold an unveiling another time, according to a person familiar with its plans. Motorola was gearing up to showcase new 5G phones.The smartphone industry is trying to fire up stalled growth with the promise of higher data speeds and faster responsiveness. Smartphone shipments have been declining since 2016.The decision to scrap MWC entirely was a difficult one, and it’s not clear who will shoulder the costs -- the participants or GSMA. The industry’s biggest players often spend tens of millions of dollars to exhibit at the show. Ericsson’s absence alone left a gap bigger than a standard American football field in the conference halls.GSMA funds much of its budget from the event, charging 799 euros ($872) for a basic admissions pass.BarcelonaMWC is also important to the city of Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, as well as to many of the smaller companies that wouldn’t otherwise have access to such a large audience of mobile carriers and consumers. Large national contingents from Turkey to South Korea take to the show to encourage deal-making and inward investment.The regional government of Catalonia had been in touch with the conference organizers and said it saw no need to cancel events like MWC, Alba Verges, head of the Catalan government health department, said at a press conference in Barcelona.South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. was among the first to rethink its participation, pointing out last week that most health experts had advised against “needlessly” exposing hundreds of employees to international travel.The global spread of the coronavirus has decimated other conferences, like Singapore’s annual airshow, which lost scores of corporate attendees but went ahead as planned on a smaller scale. Formula One confirmed it is postponing this year’s Chinese Grand Prix racing event due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Liberty Media Corp.-owned firm said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.(Updates with information on abandoned product launches by Intel and Motorola in seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Thomas Seal, Niveditha Ravi, Saritha Rai, Debby Wu, Ian King, Gao Yuan, Mark Gurman, Scott Moritz, Rodrigo Orihuela, Angelina Rascouet and Loni Prinsloo.To contact the reporter on this story: Nate Lanxon in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at firstname.lastname@example.org, Rob GolumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- After some of the biggest telecom companies withdrew from the wireless industry’s top annual event because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, MWC Barcelona 2020 is all but dead.Members of the organizer, the GSMA, headed into a meeting on Wednesday expecting to announce a decision to cancel the conference in the afternoon, according to people familiar with the matter. However, the group based in London has been unable to arrive quickly at a conclusion on what to do.While many members of the lobby group publicly said they would withdraw, the organization’s base is broad and global. It’s not clear who would carry the costs of choosing not to go ahead. The Catalonian health authority said Wednesday it saw no need for such an event to be canceled.Spanish radio station Cadena Ser reported that GSMA has decided to continue preparations for MWC at least until Friday while it monitors the evolution of the virus.Two of the world’s biggest phone carriers -- Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc -- earlier on Wednesday joined major exhibitors such as Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB and Sony Corp. in pulling out of MWC. Ericsson’s absence alone left a gap bigger than a standard American football field in the conference halls.A decision to abandon the gathering for the first time in its 33-year history would underscore how the continued spread of the virus from its origin in China is denting business activity around the world. The death toll in China rose to 1,113 as of Feb. 11, and confirmed cases on the mainland have reached 44,653.Liberty Media Corp.’s Formula One on Wednesday postponed the Chinese Grand Prix, due to be held in April. Scores of companies and VIPs have pulled out of the Singapore Airshow, the industry’s biggest in Asia, scheduled for this week.MWC is due to run from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27, drawing around 100,000 people to the Spanish city. It’s the industry’s most important opportunity for networking and a chance to show off the latest gadgets and software to buyers from across the world. Wireless equipment vendors use MWC to hammer out deals with their biggest customers. Were the event to go ahead, it would be a shadow of its former self.5G ShowcaseThe GSMA stepped up sanitary precautions in recent days to reassure visitors -- advising against handshakes, introducing body temperature scanners and a protocol for changing microphones, and restricting entry to recent arrivals from China.That’s not been enough to reassure many participants given the potential for virus transmission at an event where thousands of visitors jostle through packed exhibition halls and huddle in meeting rooms.In a statement to Bloomberg, the GSMA said Wednesday it was meeting regularly with health experts and partners “to ensure the wellbeing of attendees,” and will continue to seek medical advice on a frequent basis. A representative for the industry body declined to comment further.The biggest MWC participants often spend tens of millions of dollars to exhibit at the show. The GSMA funds much of its budget from the event, charging 799 euros ($872) for a basic admissions pass.This year is supposed to see the big launch for fifth-generation mobile services that debuted in 2019. The smartphone industry is trying to fire up stalled growth with the promise of higher data speeds and faster responsiveness. Smartphone shipments have been declining since 2016.MWC is also important to the city of Barcelona, as well as to many of the smaller companies that wouldn’t otherwise have access to such a large audience of mobile carriers and consumers. Large national contingents from Turkey to South Korea take to the show to encourage deal-making and inward investment.\--With assistance from Stefan Nicola, Angelina Rascouet, Daniele Lepido, Thomas Gualtieri, Nate Lanxon and Charles Penty.To contact the reporters on this story: Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at email@example.com;Thomas Seal in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Rodrigo Orihuela in Madrid at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Spanish health officials said on Wednesday there was no reason to cancel the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona over coronavirus fears, despite major companies pulling out of the event. National Health Minister Salvador Illa said the government's goal was protecting people's health, but that it would take additional measures if necessary. The assurance came after behind-the-scenes pressure on Spanish authorities to declare that holding the event in Barcelona would pose a public health risk, which could potentially in turn trigger a payout on any event insurance taken out by the organisers.
The organisers of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) said on Wednesday they were monitoring "the fast-changing" development of the coronavirus, in a statement issued after sources said the event in Barcelona was likely to be called off. "We have already implemented additional health measures ahead of MWC 2020 and will continue to seek expert medical advice on a frequent basis," it added.
Telecoms industry lobby GSMA will hold a virtual board meeting on Wednesday to discuss a major conference later this month which is looking increasingly threatened by fears of coronavirus, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Board members of the GSMA will discuss the Barcelona conference by phone at 1300 GMT, according to the person, who declined to be named.
BARCELONA/BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - The Mobile World Congress (MWC), the annual telecoms industry gathering that draws more than 100,000 visitors to Barcelona, was cancelled on Wednesday after a mass exodus by exhibitors due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak. Bowing to the inevitable, the GSMA telecoms association that hosts the get-together said it had cancelled the Feb. 24-27 event despite assurances from local and national health officials that it would have been safe to hold it. "The GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event,” John Hoffman, the CEO of organiser GSMA, said in a statement.
Deutsche Telekom is pulling out of this month's Mobile World Congress, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, adding an official announcement by other European telecoms operators was possible later in the day. Such a step, if confirmed, would deal a fatal blow to the Feb. 24-27 that traditionally draws 100,000 visitors to Barcelona, as European operators are foundational members of the GSMA industry association that hosts the event. The GSMA board, comprising industry executives, will convene on Friday to review its options, sources said.
Major U.S. and European stock indexes surged to fresh records on Tuesday after China's senior medical adviser suggested the deadly coronavirus may be over by April, an outlook that also helped crude prices gain on hopes of renewed Chinese demand. China's foremost medical adviser on the outbreak told Reuters the number of new cases were falling in parts and forecast the epidemic would peak this month.
* European stocks rise: STOXX, DAX hit record highs * AMS dips despite Q4 beat, share sale for Osram takeover in focus * Central bankers: eyes on Lagarde, Carney and Powell speeches * TUI surges on coronavirus fears respite Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters. You can share your thoughts with Thyagaraju Adinarayan (email@example.com), Joice Alves (firstname.lastname@example.org), Julien Ponthus (email@example.com) in London and Danilo Masoni (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Milan. CLOSING SNAPSHOT: STOXX AND DAX AT RECORD HIGHS (1655 GMT) Big day of records for European shares as both the pan European and the German indices have climbed to all-time highs on hopes the coronavirus is peaking after China's senior medical adviser suggested the outbreak crisis may be over in April.
* European stocks rise: STOXX, DAX hit record highs * AMS dips despite Q4 beat, share sale for Osram takeover in focus * Central bankers: eyes on Lagarde, Carney and Powell speeches * TUI surges on coronavirus fears respite Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters. You can share your thoughts with Thyagaraju Adinarayan (email@example.com), Joice Alves (firstname.lastname@example.org), Julien Ponthus (email@example.com) in London and Danilo Masoni (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Milan. "CHASING THE UNICORNS": DAX AT NEW RECORD (1628 GMT) Germany's exporter-heavy DAX index has climbed to a new record high, mirroring Wall Street benchmarks, but there's a lot of scepticism out there over whether these gains are justified, given China and the country's internal troubles.
(Bloomberg) -- T-Mobile US Inc. is poised to close its long-sought merger with Sprint Corp., a deal that will reshape the U.S. wireless industry, after winning approval from a federal judge who rejected a state lawsuit against the tie-up.The two companies said Tuesday they expect to close as soon as April 1 after U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan said the states failed to persuade him that a merger of the No. 3 and 4 carriers would harm consumers.“Today was a huge victory for this merger,” T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere said in a statement. “We are finally able to focus on the last steps to get this merger done!”The ruling comes almost two years after the merger was announced. The companies had bet on a favorable reception from the Trump administration, which signed on to the deal last year. Regulators under President Barack Obama in 2014 rebuffed an earlier merger proposal out of fear that consolidating the market would lead to higher prices.Now the tie-up will give T-Mobile added heft to take on industry leaders AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. The new T-Mobile will overtake AT&T in total number of regular monthly subscribers.For T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG, the deal reduces the German company’s reliance on Europe, where carriers are struggling to grow amid fierce competition and where its biggest rival -- Vodafone Group Plc -- bolstered its position by buying continental cable assets from Liberty Global Plc. T-Mobile’s importance for Deutsche Telekom has grown steadily in recent years and currently accounts for about half of group sales, up from about a third in 2014.Approval of the deal will come as a huge relief for Sprint parent SoftBank Group Corp. and its chairman, Masayoshi Son, who had faced the prospect of having to bail out Sprint if the deal were blocked. Now, the entrepreneur can better plug SoftBank as a technology investment powerhouse, allowing him to focus his energies on the $100 billion Vision Fund.Shares of Sprint soared 74% to $8.33 at 9:56 a.m. in New York from Monday’s closing price of $4.80. T-Mobile gained 11% to $94.13.T-Mobile and Sprint haven’t renewed the merger agreement since it lapsed on Nov. 1. T-Mobile has suggested there could be new terms, including on the price. Before the merger can close, it still needs approvals from California’s utility board and a federal judge in Washington who must sign off on the Justice Department’s settlement allowing the deal.In his decision, Marrero rejected key arguments from the states: that the merged company would raise prices for lower quality service and that Sprint could remain as a viable competitor without the merger.“T-Mobile has redefined itself over the past decade as a maverick that has spurred the two largest players in its industry to make numerous pro-consumer changes,” the judge wrote. “The proposed merger would allow the merged company to continue T-Mobile’s undeniably successful business strategy for the foreseeable future.”Consumer advocates blasted the decision as dangerous for wireless subscribers even with a settlement approved by federal regulators that envision Dish Network Corp. entering the market as a new wireless competitor. With the core satellite-TV business in decline, Charlie Ergen, the Dish co-founder and chairman, has amassed a trove of airwaves to build a state-of-the-art wireless network.“Going from four established nationwide wireless networks to only three -- with the possibility that we might someday, eventually, get some version of a fourth network added back into the mix -- will be extremely damaging to competition,” George Slover, senior policy counsel at Consumer Reports, said.Marrero’s ruling is a major setback for New York Attorney General Letitia James and her California counterpart, Xavier Becerra, who led the litigation for states representing more than 40% of the U.S. population. James said in a statement her office is considering an appeal.“From the start, this merger has been about massive corporate profits over all else, and despite the companies’ false claims, this deal will endanger wireless subscribers where it hurts most: their wallets,” she said.The states argued without success that the merger would lead to billions of dollars in extra costs for consumers, with wireless customers in urban areas being hit particularly hard. They also said the deal wouldn’t work out as planned because Dish was unlikely to be able to follow through on its commitments to become a viable wireless competitor.During the two-week trial, Marrero at one point expressed doubt that the new T-Mobile would “be so bold” as to raise prices after the merger without also offering better service, pushing back on testimony by an expert hired by the states who predicted that customers of the four biggest providers could see combined increases of as much as $8.7 billion, with $4.6 billion from T-Mobile alone.The defense also presented evidence that Sprint couldn’t survive without the deal. Legere had testified that Sprint would be “sold for parts” if the merger didn’t go through.The states’ lawsuit was the last major hurdle to the deal after it was approved by regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The states that sued had urged Marrero after the trial not to give any extra weight to the federal government’s decision, calling the government’s review of the deal “cursory.”\--With assistance from Chris Dolmetsch and Stefan Nicola.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at email@example.com;Scott Moritz in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Erik Larson in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Sara Forden at email@example.com, ;Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joe Schneider, Paula DwyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.