Sprint's Claure: 'We're not engaged in any serious discussions' with T-Mobile

Marcelo Claure
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure

T-Mobile and Sprint are “not engaged in any serious discussions” regarding a merger, according to Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. But Sprint clearly hopes it can join forces with the nation’s third-largest carrier at some point.

Claure told Fortune this week that while a tie-up between the two carriers is compelling, it is highly unlikely to happen under current U.S. regulatory policies. Sprint dropped its pursuit of T-Mobile two years ago after U.S. regulators made it clear they prefer a market with four major carriers rather than three.

“We’ve always said that we were interested” in a merger with T-Mobile, Claure told Fortune. “It would be nice to combine both companies to give us scale. Today that is a wish.”

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceWireless!

The Wireless industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Our subscribers rely on FierceWireless as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data on this increasingly competitive marketplace. Sign up today to get wireless news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

Bloomberg reported this week that SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son still hopes to merge with T-Mobile. SoftBank owns a majority of Sprint. Son is likely to pursue T-Mobile again if he feels that a new FCC head – who has yet to be named – may be more favorable of a merger than Tom Wheeler, who currently heads the Commission.

Deutsche Telekom owns more than 65 percent of T-Mobile and has long sought to spin off its U.S. carrier to focus on its European businesses. The German telecom has reportedly shelved those efforts, though, as T-Mobile focuses on adding to its spectrum portfolio during the ongoing incentive auction.

Meanwhile, the price of T-Mobile has increased dramatically over the last three years as the carrier has established itself as a legitimate threat to Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile overcame Sprint last year to become the third-largest mobile network operator in the U.S., and its market cap has more than doubled since early 2013 to surpass $38 billion.

Sprint is beginning to regain its footing in the U.S. wireless market, and it might still make an attractive candidate for a merger with T-Mobile. Even if the two carriers could agree to terms, though, a tie-up is likely to be a tough sell to any new FCC chair.

For more:
- see this Fortune interview

Related articles:
Report: Deutsche Telekom shelves sale of T-Mobile as incentive auction approaches
SoftBank's Son: Sprint 'is about to turn into a cash maker'
Sprint parent SoftBank to sell at least $7.9B stake in Alibaba to shore up finances

Suggested Articles

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly might have been preaching to the choir at the Brooklyn 5G Summit on Thursday, but he didn’t mince words when it came to his…

Without naming Ericsson, Nokia’s CEO, speaking at the company's Q1 earnings call, addressed some 5G technology that Ericsson is touting.

Verizon also said it will roll out its fixed wireless 5G Home broadband service to some of those markets.