Sprint, T-Mobile slide as reports cast doubts on merger

Wednesday, 01 Nov, 2017

Investors have cheered on a combination of T-Mobile, the third-largest USA wireless carrier, with No. 4 Sprint as a way to cut costs and forge a bigger competitor to take on AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc.

The Nikkei Asian Review kicked off by reporting from Japan that Sprint's owner, Japan's SoftBank, plans to break off deal negotiations with T-Mobile's parent company, Germany's Deutsche Telekom, over disagreements about who would control the combined company. While the Japanese company reached a broad agreement with T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom, they were unable to finalise the last details, the report said. SoftBank appeared to be receptive to an arrangement that would that would give Deutsche Telekom control as long as it retained some clout in the combined company.

Shares in the provider of satellite television Dish Network Corp that had hugely been considered an active partner for the Sprint or T-mobile of its spectrum holdings, shut down at 4 percent.

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The Nikkei Shimbun on Monday reported that SoftBank would propose ending the talks as early as yesterday, citing the concerns about control of the combined entity. T-Mobile has been making market share gains since launching its Un-carrier strategy a few years ago.

This actually isn't the first time that a merger between the two carries has failed. These two companies came close in 2014 about the merging, but later due to some regulatory concerns called it off. The merger was less critical for T-Mobile. Under former President Barack Obama's administration, officials fended off a previous attempt by SoftBank to merge Sprint with T-Mobile.