Sprint and T-Mobile are reportedly talking about merging, again

  • Sprint and T-Mobile are reportedly talking about merging, again

Sprint and T-Mobile are reportedly talking about merging, again

It was reported in early October of a year ago that the two carriers were talking about merging their operations together, but T-Mobile eventually issued a press release the following month saying that the deal was dead as they "were unable to find mutually agreeable terms".

The stock prices of T-Mobile and Sprint soared Tuesday following a Wall Street Journal report that the nation's third and fourth largest wireless carrier have rekindled merger talks. The latest round has been started merely five months after the previous fell through due to disagreements on who will control the combined entity. Japan's SoftBank Corp. owns nearly 85 percent of Sprint, while T-Mobile is controlled by Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG. Sprint is 85-percent owned by SoftBank Group Corp, while Deutsche Telekom owns T-Mobile. Neither company wanted to give up overall control of the merged company, which is what led to the talks falling apart.

New discussions are at a preliminary stage and it's not clear what the sides are discussing, sources tell DJ.

The big question remaining is whether or not regulators will allow a merger to take place. On the other hand, a merger would remove the cheapest wireless network in America, Sprint, from the picture, and remove downwards price pressure from the marketplace.

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Should the merger go through, the resulting business would be larger than AT&T.

This marks the third time that T-Mobile and Sprint have shown interest in merging. 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. Things there look a little more dicey for a merger: the DoJ is now suing to block the AT&T-Time Warner acquisition, which wouldn't bode well for any other giant telecoms mergers. Will T-Mobile and Sprint finally exchange wedding vows?