Sprint is reportedly pulling out of T-Mobile merger talks

Jon Howard
October 31, 2017

It will diminish SoftBank's intended penetration of the important United States of America market, a strategy that includes a US$50bn investment. Since T-Mobile is doing much better than Sprint numbers-wise, T-Mobile owner Deutsche was looking for a majority stake.

A deal between Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint and Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile would be certain to attract heavy scrutiny from regulators, since it would reduce the four largest carriers in the country to three.

Shares of Sprint and T-Mobile tumbled in midday trading Monday after reports that their widely rumored merger talks may be ending. Meanwhile, several members of SoftBank's board have raised concerns about giving up control of the US wireless business, another person said. Still, in August, Sprint CEO and President Marcelo Claure said the company would have an announcement "in the near future" addressing merger discussions.

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Sprint reportedly plans to make a significant investment in its network now that merger talks have stalled.

A merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would have created a company with more than 130 million US subscribers, just behind Verizon Communications Inc VZ.N and AT&T Inc T.N .

SoftBank tried to buy T-Mobile once before, in 2014. Wireless data prices have been falling. The companies had been hoping their chances would improve under a more business-friendly Trump administration. SoftBank and DT had previously agreed to a framework that would've combined the two carriers, but the sticking point comes at the ownership share each would hold.

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