Mobile And Sprint's Merger Plans Are Dead

Marlene Weaver
November 6, 2017

It's official: Sprint and T-Mobile have called off talks about a potential merger following months of negotiations that, at one point, likely had investors fairly excited about the potential of a huge new rival to AT&T, the nation's second-largest carrier.

The failed merger could also keep wireless prices low as all four providers have been heavily discounting their cellphone plans in a battle for consumers.

T-Mobile made a revised offer, which Sprint is considering, the Journal said.

The companies' unusual step of making a joint announcement on the canceled negotiations could indicate they still recognize the merits of a merger, keeping the door open for potential future talks. "However, we have agreed that it is best to move forward on our own", according to Sprint president and CEO and Softbank Board member Marcelo Claure. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son personally approached Charter about a merger, and talks at this point are reported to be strictly exploratory and preliminary in nature, but include a number of higher-ups from both companies. If T-Mobile and Sprint had aligned, they would collectively rise to the number three provider slot in the USA mobile market. Sprint has been struggling to stem the loss of subscribers.

Legere said that T-Mobile has "been out-growing this industry for the last 15 quarters, delivering outstanding value for shareholders, and driving significant change across wireless".

Both companies had expressed interest in a tie-up this year.

But no deal was announced immediately following the conclusion of a ban on merger talks in the spring that was associated with a USA government auction of wireless airwaves.

Sprint and its owner, the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, have always been looking for a deal as the company has struggled to compete on its own. The two sides could reach a deal within weeks, but the two companies could still fail to agree on deal terms. What can the next era of T-Mobile and Sprint do to gain ground?

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