Sprint and T-Mobile Merger Might Be Over Amid Fight for Control of Combined Company [Updated]

Sprint parent company SoftBank may call off a planned merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, report Nikkei and Reuters.

SoftBank's board of directors is said to be having doubts about the deal due to a failure to reach an agreement about the ownership of the combined T-Mobile/Sprint entity. SoftBank is worried about "losing control" of the combined company, according to sources that spoke to Reuters.


Rumors suggest SoftBank could approach T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom as soon as Tuesday to end the talks. Deutsche Telekom wanted a controlling stake in the combined company, which SoftBank's board has ultimately decided not to agree to. T-Mobile is still attempting to keep the deal going, but Deutsche Telekom does not plan to budge on demands for control.

A T-Mobile and Sprint merger deal has been in the works since February of 2017, and as recently as September, the deal was said to be close to done as SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom worked out the final details. T-Mobile CEO John Legere was set to lead the combined company.

Should the deal ultimately fall through, it will be the second time Sprint and T-Mobile have failed to reach an agreement. Sprint parent company SoftBank attempted to purchase T-Mobile in a 2013 deal worth more than $20 billion, but SoftBank abandoned its plans in 2014 amid regulatory scrutiny.

Even if the deal progresses and SoftBank does not end the merger, it's still unclear if it will gain regulatory approval this time around. In 2014, U.S. antitrust regulators said having four national carriers was important to maintaining a competitive market.

Update: T-Mobile and Sprint are attempting to save the merger and are negotiating new terms with T-Mobile having submitted a new offer, according to The Wall Street Journal. A deal could potentially be reached within weeks, but there's still the chance that it'll fall through.

Top Rated Comments

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36 months ago
Bizarre. If Softbank knew how to run Sprint it wouldn't be the take over target it is. But with this going belly up seems like the next step could be vultures ending up picking up Sprint assets in the next few years. I mean any company that literally gives away a free year of service and still can't get takers....
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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36 months ago
Well sprint, enjoy slowly going out of business
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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36 months ago
If they merge, John Legere has to keep being the CEO and continue to be the uncarrier that trumps all the other carriers. John knows how to run T-Mobile USA and keep the competition up on the others. Softbank/Sprint execs that have ideas should be required to get approval from John Legere.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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36 months ago
Whatever. No need for Sprint to drag T-Mobile down with them.

Too bad. T-mobile would benefit from Sprint management.

ROFL!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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36 months ago
As a Sprint refuge... I'm absolutely praying that this all goes to hell. Sprint Customer service is the absolute worst.

I'm genuinely happy with T-Mobile and don't want any of Sprint to rub off on them
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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36 months ago
Given that since SoftBank bought Sprint in 2013, Sprint has had all of two slightly profitable quarters, and zero profitable years, hemorrhaging something like $10 billion, I would think the last thing SoftBank would want is to be running the newly merged company.

I mean, seriously, if your management has lost money for five years straight while the company you want to merge with has been on an upward trend that entire time, I’d think priority one would be not running the merged company.

But then, if SoftBank made smart decisions they’d either be making money with Sprint or never have bought it in the first place. Why start making good decisions now?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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