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When it comes to high-speed Internet on our mobile devices and in our homes, one saving grace is that our wireless carriers and home broadband providers (with the exception of Verizon) aren’t the same companies. But a UBS analyst believes that AT&T’s acquisition attempt of DirecTV is going to have dire consequences for that separating wall.

Why? Because it could help Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable go through, and from there, Comcast could take a run at wireless carrier T-Mobile.

t-mobile-logo.pngJohn Hodulik, the analyst behind the theory, believes that Comcast (and broadband providers like it) have been evaluating a jump into the wireless industry for quite some time, citing investments in companies like Clearwire. T-Mobile is already being looked at closely by Sprint parent company Softbank, but Hodulik believes that Comcast could swoop in and try to claim the company should the Softbank deal fall through.

An excerpt of Hodulik’s report:

We believe AT&T’s move into mobile video could be the final straw that draws Comcast into the wireless mix. The company’s current wireless strategy leverages wifi deployments and its MVNO relationships. While this may be a capital efficient way to put a toe in the water, we believe it is not a long term strategy […] In our opinion, this could eventually lead to the acquisition of T-Mobile – if it is still independent. Initial moves to execute on a Wifi-MVNO strategy will inevitably spark the speculation that Comcast will indeed need to go further and put a still- independent T-Mobile back on the M&A target list were the Softbank deal to be rejected. This view of the future creates a 3rd potential buyer for the company, behind Sprint and DISH.

In a wireless industry where companies aren’t trying all that hard to be competitive, T-Mobile stands out as a carrier that’s willing to take risks and go against the grain. I’m already not that comfortable with a Softbank acquisition (even with John Legere keeping his job), but a Comcast purchase of T-Mobile would almost certainly put an end to the “un-carrier” practices the company has become known for. And less competition is exactly what the wireless industry doesn’t need right now.

This is all the speculation of an analyst at this point, but it does make some sense for Comcast to move in this direction. The company will have to get its acquisition of Time Warner Cable approved first, though, and we’ll be keeping an eye on that and reporting here with updates.

What do you think of Comcast possibly acquiring T-Mobile in the future? Drop us a line below with your thoughts.

[Barrons via BGR]


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