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T-Mobile May Not Sell to Sprint After All: Carlos Slim Could ‘Step Up And Make This Happen’

By Kelly Teal
July 23, 2014 - News

**Editor's Note: Which is America's top wireless network? Click here to see what we discovered. Or click here for a recap of the biggest communications mergers in Q2 2014.**

Maybe it’s not so inevitable that T-Mobile will sell to Sprint, after all.

This week, rumors are circulating that Carlos Slim, the billionaire owner of America Movil in Latin America and prepaid provider TracFone in the United States, has his eye on America’s fourth-largest wireless operator.

Indeed, Slim is flush with cash as a result of about $15 billion worth of asset sales in his native country. That would comprise almost half of the $32 billion price tag T-Mobile reportedly has put on itself in advance of a sale to Sprint. Plus, as Motley Fool points out, T-Mobile’s brash culture – a tone set by CEO John Legere – fits with Slim’s own mindset and philosophy. With all of that in mind, such a deal would be justifiable, John Hodulik, a UBS analyst, told The Wall Street Journal.

“A more meaningful entry into the U.S. with the acquisition of [T-Mobile] could make strategic sense," Hodulik said.

Motley Fool observers agreed.

“Slim should step up and make this happen," one wrote on July 22.

But Slim seems to be quashing rumors of a T-Mobile acquisition. America Movil held its second-quarter earnings call this week and said it does not plan to buy a carrier in the United States, according to TeleGeography. America Movil reiterated that it likes its TracFone business here, which now comprises 25.5 million subscribers as of June 30.

Nonetheless, the absence of a Sprint-T-Mobile merger announcement only helps fuel rumor fires. The companies have been talking about a deal since June and still have not made it official.

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