Sprint, T-Mobile reportedly rekindle merger talks

merger and acquisition
T-Mobile and Sprint are once again reportedly in merger discussions. (Image: istocksdaily)

According to a new report in The Wall Street Journal, Sprint and T-Mobile have restarted merger negotiations.

The publication noted that the talks are still in their early stages and might not result in an agreement. However, the news is noteworthy considering the two companies have tried to merge several times over the course of the past several years.

The latest breakdown in negotiations between Sprint and T-Mobile occurred late last year. According to reports, the two companies couldn’t reach an agreement on the value of Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum.

Sponsored by Blue Planet, a division of Ciena

Embrace everything as a service. Appledore Analyst Report reveals what it takes to shift to NaaS, its many benefits and demands, and who's getting it right.

CSPs need to evolve from legacy OSS and hardware networks to cloud-native, software-enabled networks. See who's leading.

Indeed, according to a recent report from Cowen, T-Mobile’s merger plan with Sprint last year involved shutting down around 30% of Sprint’s cell sites and then deploying Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum nationwide. However, since those talks broke down, Sprint is now embarking on its own major 2.5 GHz spectrum build-out with up to $6 billion in cash this year from parent SoftBank.

Indeed, T-Mobile executives have publicly expressed regret that the carrier hasn’t been able to ink a merger with Sprint. “This team was highly convicted that we had a unique opportunity for value creation with the Sprint deal,” T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter said early this year. “Very conservatively, there were at least $37 billion of hard synergy [in the now-collapsed deal]. Mostly in the network. You know, Neville [Ray, T-Mobile’s CTO] and his team for 4-5 months built the most detailed Newco [combined T-Mobile and Sprint] network model—it was a thing of beauty. … But it wasn’t meant to be.”

Added Carter: “Could something happen in the future? You never say never.”

Of course, any T-Mobile merger with Sprint would be complicated by the two companies’ parents: Sprint’s SoftBank and T-Mobile’s Deutsche Telekom. Further, AT&T’s attempted merger with Time Warner has run into a Department of Justice lawsuit and the carrier is now in court arguing against that actiona situation that analysts have argued has stifled additional M&A in the telecom industry.

Suggested Articles

A Verizon documentary debuted this week featuring companies developing innovative applications enabled by 5G.

Intelsat says it has finalized the required satellite and launch contracts it needs to meet the FCC's accelerated C-band spectrum clearing timelines.

U.S. Cellular is seeing more than four times the range for mmWave with Ericsson's extended-range software combined with Qualcomm-powered CPE.