In recent years, a Sprint and T-Mobile merger has been talked about quite a bit. In fact, SoftBank's Masayoshi Son has tried to talk regulators into approving such a deal so the two could better compete with Verizon and AT&T – both of whom are more than twice the size of both T-Mobile and Sprint – but were unsuccessful and in 2014 they opted to replace the CEO of Sprint and start their own turnaround. Recently, Son came out and said that their original plan was to buy Sprint and then buy T-Mobile to merge them. But the government wasn't having any of it. He did say that after the new administration takes office, come January, they may open up talks again. And with Trump being elected the 45th president, it's been a hot topic this week.
Now analysts are coming out to talk about a potential tie up between the two companies, and they believe that it would be a good thing for tower companies: Crown Castle and American Tower. Well they believe that it wouldn't hurt them in the immediate future. New Street analysts wrote in a research note this week that the "revenue exposure from overlapping sites is modestly lower and lease durations are two years longer than we previously thought. The overall impact is that site decommissioning should only drive 3% to 8% downside for the sector, with Crown Castle remaining most exposed." American Tower also announced this morning that it uses separate leases for antenna space with both Sprint and T-Mobile, and this is roughly at 5,500 sites that they own and/or operates.
Sprint and SoftBank may still be looking to pick up T-Mobile, but at this point, Deutsche Telecom may no longer be looking to sell T-Mobile USA, like they were just a few short years ago. Since John Legere came on at T-Mobile USA in 2012, he has turned the company around. Going from being a thorn in the side of Deutsche Telekom to now making the most money out of all of their businesses. So while SoftBank may still want the company, Deutsche Telekom may not be ready to sell.