In every merger, the right question to ask is: Who is smarter, the seller or the buyer?
Sometimes both, but often it’s the seller, who is looking for an exit.
In this case, Deutsche Telekom sees an opportunity to pocket $39 billion—$25 billion of it in cash—by selling T-Mobile to AT&T. (As of last quarter, AT&T had $1.4 billion in cash.)
The knee-jerk reaction in this deal, based on an early poll I conducted on Twitter, was the seller, which has been trying to figure out what to do with T-Mobile USA, a distant competitor among mobile carriers.
But as people started to think about it, the mood shifted to the buyer, which would put AT&T well ahead of Verizon in terms of customers.
But do more customers equal a better company? Is the deal the best use of AT&T's cash, debt and stock? Years from now will it be viewed as a bargain?
Assuming the deal passes regulatory muster, who is smarter? Seller or buyer? Vote now and I’ll give the results later on air.
Questions? Comments? Write to HerbOnTheStreet@cnbc.com
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