Deutsche Telekom (DT) has initiated negotiations with three major players relating to the sale of its struggling UK mobile unit, T-Mobile UK, the Financial Times claims. It is understood that UK-based Vodafone Group, France Telecom and Spain’s Telefonica had all shown interest in the cellco, and according to sources familiar with the matter talks between DT and the three interested parties are at a preliminary stage. It is also believed that DT hopes that improvements in the global economy may increase the funds raised by the sale of T-Mobile UK, with the German giant likely to put a EUR4 billion (USD5.7 billion) price tag on the British mobile operator. A merger between T-Mobile UK and France Telecom’s own British subsidiary, Orange UK, is also understood to still be under consideration. All of the parties rumoured to be in talks declined to comment on the matter, but it is thought that significant progress on DT’s divestment of the unit could be made by the end of October 2009.