Rumour: T-Mobile USA to acquire MetroPCS

T-Mobile USAThe last time T-Mobile was the subject of an acquisition, it was going to be the acquiree until the deal fell apart last December. It now appears that it could be doing the acquiring this time. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg reports that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent company, is in discussion with MetroPCS about a possible merger.

Such a merger would not be without its challenges. For example, T-Mobile uses HSPA while MetroPCS runs on CDMA.

One option is a stock-swap transaction that would give Deutsche Telekom control over the merged company which would stay publicly listed. Deutsche Telekom is also considering an outright sale of the carrier or an initial public offering.

T-Mobile USA is the U.S.’s the fourth-largest wireless provider with 33.4 million subscribers at the end of 2012’s first quarter. It has struggled against its larger competitors. Since the failed AT&T merger, it has cut jobs even as it has increased investment into a faster network in a bid to retain its customers. This deal would grow T-Mobile’s customer base by 9.5 million.

Both companies are also in discussions with other parties.

Read more: Bloomberg