Ina Fried

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Deutsche Telekom Confirms Talks to Combine MetroPCS and T-Mobile USA

Aiming to beef up its U.S. operation, Deutsche Telekom is in talks to combine MetroPCS with its T-Mobile USA operations.

In a statement Tuesday, the carrier said it is “holding talks” but said there are “significant issues” yet to be worked out.

“Deutsche Telekom is holding talks with the listed company MetroPCS with the aim of operating its subsidiary T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS within one company in which Deutsche Telekom would hold the majority of shares,” the carrier said on its Web site. “The talks are at a stage where significant issues have not yet been finalized, contracts have not yet been signed and the conclusion of the transaction is still not certain.”

The German carrier said its board has therefore not approved the deal. According to Bloomberg, the company’s board is set to take up the matter shortly.

Deutsche Telekom has been looking for new options for T-Mobile following its failed bid last year to sell the No. 4 U.S. carrier to AT&T.

A deal with MetroPCS would add scale but create all kinds of logistical challenges for the two carriers as they tried to merge distinct sales approaches, corporate cultures and network technologies. Sprint reportedly considered a deal with MetroPCS but passed.

T-Mobile last month named a new CEO, John Legere, who told AllThingsD that Deutsche Telekom convinced him it was ready to fight.

“If you thought T-Mobile was going to shrink and wither away, you are completely wrong,” Legere said.

Updated, 9:30 am PT, noting that Deutsche Telekom is confirming the talks.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald