Friday in CE: T-Mobile and Sprint are (Again) Close to Merger Agreement
It was only a matter of time, right?
With the Trump Presidency a little more than nine months old now, T-Mobile and Sprint decided the time was right to get back to negotiating a possible merger between the third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers in the country, respectively. This type of announcement has long been expected with Trump—a business-friendly individual—in office.
According to an exclusive report on Reuters this morning, not only are Sprint and T-Mobile back to negotiating, but they’re extremely close to agreeing on tentative terms for the potential merger. According to people familiar with the discussions, Sprint’s controlling investor SoftBank Group Corp will hold 40 to 50 percent of the company, while T-Mobile owner Deutsch Telekom will hold a majority stake in the combined company.
Together, Sprint and T-Mobile would create a business with more than 130 million subscribers—just behind Verizon’s 147 million and AT&T’s 136 million—and revenue would top around $70 billion. More importantly, according to analysts, the increased competitive advantage of having a third “major wireless carrier” would create the need for the top two carriers in the space to better price their offerings.
Merger talks between T-Mobile and Sprint came to a halt in 2014 after SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son walked away from the table amid opposition from anti-trust regulators who feared the deal would create a negative impact on consumers. Any potential merger this time around, obviously, would require thorough vetting by the U.S. government. Of course, there’s still the possibility that the two sides fail to come to an agreement.
Reuters’ sources said an agreement between the two companies—if finalized—is expected by the end of October.
— GfK (@GfK) September 22, 2017
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