South Korea's SK Telecom, the country's largest mobile carrier by revenue, is contemplating making a bid for the struggling video chain Blockbuster. The deal would be an attempt to diversify away from its Korea-only network, where it has a tough fight with KT and LG Telecom, according to The Wall Street Journal.
SK Telecom has been seeking ways to broaden its business portfolio and tap new sources of growth overseas to overcome the limited opportunities it has to expand in one of the world's most saturated and fiercely competitive telecom markets. SK Telecom is apparently interested in Blockbuster as it has movie delivery deals with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as well as Time Warner's Warner Bros.
In September 2010, Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. Last month, Blockbuster asked the New York bankruptcy court overseeing its Chapter 11 case to allow it to conduct an auction for the company that it hopes will lead to a transaction by April 20.
SK Telecom has tried to get into the US before through its short-lived partnership with Earthlink for the carrier Helio, but it had little success. The company eventually sold off Helio for $39 million in stock to Virgin Mobile USA and exited the US almost entirely. Now it's considering trying again, though we're not sure Blockbuster is the best pick for it.