T-Mobile, Sprint Merger Talks Called Off
SoftBank is expected to approach Deutsche Telekom as early as Tuesday to propose ending the talks
November 1, 2017
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A merger between Sprint and T-Mobile has been said to be imminent; however, today the news is completely different.
Japan’s SoftBank (owner of Sprint) is expected to approach T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom as early as Tuesday to propose ending the talks, reports asia.nikkei.com. The two firms had reached a broad agreement to integrate T-Mobile and Sprint, the third and fourth-largest carriers in the U.S. respectively, and were working out the final details, such as the ownership ratio.
Deutsche Telekom insisted on a controlling stake, and SoftBank was initially amenable as long as the Japanese company retained some influence, according to the same article. However, SoftBank's board decided at a meeting Friday that the company would not give up control, and so the decision was made Monday to end the negotiations.
Sprint's position in the U.S. mobile market is well behind the top two of Verizon Communications and AT&T both in scale and subscribers, and a merger with T-Mobile could have reinforced Sprint's customer base enough to let it challenge the duopoly while allowing for more efficient network investment.
This is not the first time the two have tried to merge. In 2014, SoftBank tried to buy T-Mobile but the idea was given up amid opposition from regulators in the Obama administration.