NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Sprint (S) and its parent SoftBank have given up on buying company T-Mobile (TMUS) citing pressure put on by U.S. regulators concerned the merger could harm consumers by cutting the number of U.S. phone companies down to three.
But was it really regulatory pressure or was it a third party that broke up this potential marriage? And could another company already be planning to step in and deal?
Tuesday T-Mobile had rejected the $15 billion buyout offer from French mobile carrier Iliad (ILIAY). Did this rejection spur U.S. regulators to step up their resistance to the Sprint deal? The rejection of Iliad's offer may have been the last straw for U.S. regulators.
Now Deutsche Telecom may be looking to deal with Iliad again, even though it earlier rejected the offer as inferior to Sprint's. In the meantime, analysts think Dish Network Corp (DISH) might jump into the fray.
According to Bernstein analyst Paul de Sa stated, "Deutsche Telekom still has several exit options, the best strategically being Dish -- who would bring a material amount of spectrum, a customer base, the potential for video bundling, and experience in the U.S. market -- unlike international buyers (for example, Iliad) who bring nothing except cash and likely overly optimistic assessments of the transferability of their capabilities."