Tim Höttges eyes possible T-Mobile Netherlands float; also considering German towers sale

Deutsche Telekom is open to a possible merger between its Dutch operation T-Mobile and local rival Tele2 Netherlands, it emerged this week.

According to a Reuters report from a Morgan Stanley conference in Barcelona, the German incumbent is also considering floating the unit.

"We haven’t decided yet," said Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Höttges, in the report.

As a mobile-only operator, there are clear benefits for T-Mobile Netherlands to gain via a merger with Tele2, which offers fixed broadband and TV, in addition to mobile services. Becoming a larger, integrated services provider would help the merged company take on the country’s two big guns, incumbent KPN, and Ziggo – a joint venture between Vodafone and Liberty Global.

Of course, reducing the number of players in the Netherlands to three from four could attract heavy regulatory scrutiny, given the implications for competition and choice in the local telecoms market.

Reuters also reports that Deutsche Telekom is still open to offloading its German mobile towers.

According to the report, Höttges said the domestic towers business holds "huge untapped value."

Reports last July claimed Deutsche Telekom had hired banks to auction its towers, which were valued at € 4billion-€5 billion.