The announcement was followed by the recent unsuccessful effort to merge the third- and fourth-largest US wireless carriers, as Sprint parent SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGn.DE), both have shown reluctance to part with too much of their prized USA telecom assets. But in a joint statement Saturday, Sprint and T-Mobile said they were calling off merger negotiations for the foreseeable future.
The companies said they ended talks because they "were unable to find mutually agreeable terms".
"The prospect of combining with Sprint has been compelling for a variety of reasons, including the potential to create significant benefits for consumers and value for shareholders".
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure was also of the same opinion and saw the benefits of a combined operation with T-Mobile even if no deal has been ultimately reached. Its wide portfolio and clout have made it a good fit to own and operate Sprint from above thus far, though that was not always the case; at one point, Masayoshi Son was very open about the fact that the company was losing money thanks to Sprint.
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"To really take the kind of next step from a business that has been stabilized to a business that has been growing is going to require a new more intense investment phase", Mark Stodden, telecom analyst at Moody's, said about Sprint.
The Wall Street Journal reports that T-Mobile and its parent company Deutsche Telekom have tweaked their offer, though the exact terms remain unclear. Both Sprint and T-Mobile said they were open to exploring other options. Both companies may have to sort that out sooner rather than later. If T-Mobile and Sprint had aligned, they would collectively rise to the number three provider slot in the US mobile market. (TMUS) and Sprint Corp.
The two companies have been dancing around a possible merger for years, and were again in the news in recent weeks with talks of coming together after all. Initially, the merger seemed to be a done deal.
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