Sprint and T-Mobile abandon merger talks

Alyssa Bailey
November 5, 2017

Both companies jointly said they couldn't strike mutually agreeable terms.

Had T-Mobile and Sprint completed a merger, Reuters says the new company would have claimed more than 130 million subscribers. T-Mobile CEO John Legere reportedly spoke with his oft-rival, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, this week to make clear T-Mobile's commitment to keep negotiations alive.

But Sprint stock stumbled Monday after a news report that its parent company, the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, called off talks with T-Mobile about the possible merger. After the government nixed AT&T's attempt to buy it in 2011, T-Mobile led the way in many consumer-friendly changes, such as ditching two-year contracts and bringing back unlimited data plans. He said Sprint has agreed it is best to move forward on its own with "significant assets, including our rich spectrum holdings, and are accelerating significant investments in our network to ensure our continued growth". At this point, talk of a merger is between Softbank and Charter, rather than having direct involvement with Sprint.

The two companies came close to announcing a merger in 2014 but called it off at the last minute due to regulatory concerns.

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In a joint statement, the third- (T-Mobile) and fourth-largest (Sprint) wireless carriers in the US explained that they were unable to agree on the terms of a deal. 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. Legal experts also said earlier this year that it was hard to predict whether the current administration would be more receptive of a deal.

A few weeks later, Legere said he was open to "various forms of consolidation" when asked about a potential merger with Sprint and SoftBank under the Trump administration.

T-Mobile, meanwhile, has been on a yearslong streak adding customers.

T-Mobile is the healthier of the two US companies. "We won't stop now".

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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