Rumors by Andrew Kameka on Thursday January 17, 2013.
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AT&T was disappointed by its failure to gain government approval to purchase the U.S. arm of T-Mobile, but the nation's largest wireless company is once again eyeing merger targets, though it's now looking at companies across the Atlantic. The Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T is considering buying a company in Europe as a way to "best escape constraints on growth at home by getting into a new wireless market where it can upgrade technology and roll out more lucrative pricing strategies." Sources suggest that AT&T's growth in the U.S. will eventually plateau, but European markets are more rife for expansion long-term, so the company is considering making a purchase sooner rather than later.
The Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T executives believe it could purchase a carrier in the U.K., Germany, or Netherlands, though some executives do not think a deal would make sense. AT&T is in the very early stages of consideration and it is unknown if the carrier has approached or held merger talks with any European entity, but potential targets include Royal KPP NV and EE. A deal with EE would return AT&T to the negotiating table with Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile that tried to sell its U.S. operations to AT&T before government opposition forced the companies to abandon the deal.
Executives suggest now is the best time to pursue acquisitions because competition and economic factors have made companies cheaper to buy. AT&T could reach a deal by the end of the year if it decides to pursue a European carrier.source: Wall Street Journal