France's Iliad calls it quits on trying to buy T-Mobile USA

AT&T wanted to buy T-Mobile USA. That fell apart. Then, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son wanted Sprint to merge with it. No dice. Most recently, Iliad (the owners of a French wireless carrier called Free) wanted to acquire a 67% stake in it. You can probably guess what happened: Iliad announced that it's officially dropping its bid for T-Mobile, despite repeatedly claiming it'd "accelerate T-Mobile US' transformation". If we're being honest, Iliad never had the cash on hand to counter Sprint's coffers -- that may explain why neither T-Mobile's board nor folks at Deutsche Telekom didn't really give them the time of day. The Ilium team must be bummed, but no matter: T-Mobile's on the upswing now as it is. At last count, the magenta-hued carrier picked up over 2.5 million subscribers over the first half of the year, enough to let it crow about being the country's fastest growing carrier. Thought's not to say that Deutsche Telekom won't still try to offload it, though -- now it's going to wait for a spectrum auction later this fall before it decides what to do next.