Sprint Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure on Tuesday once again talked up a possible merger with T-Mobile. In an interview with CNBC, the top executive of the Overland Park, Kansas-based company reiterated how everyone from the firm's parent SoftBank to T-Mobile's owner Deutsche Telekom and CEO John Legere publicly touted the benefits of a potential tie-up, adding that those stances haven't changed in recent weeks. On the contrary, Claure confirmed that Sprint and T-Mobile have held consolidation talks in the last few months and are planning to discuss the matter further in the near future.
Sprint's most senior executive recently asserted that the fourth largest mobile service provider in the United States is also considering other potential mergers and may opt to consolidate with another entity, though some industry watchers remain skeptical about that stance, adding that Claure may simply be trying to provide Sprint and SoftBank with more leverage in the upcoming deal. While both wireless carriers are said to be fit for a merger, the possibility that they consolidate with each other is much more realistic than any other scenario, numerous analysts believe. If Sprint decides against a tie-up with T-Mobile, the company will almost certainly have to look outside of the wireless segment for a potential partner and would likely turn to the cable industry in its hypothetical search. While Sprint has been racking up debt in recent years and underperformed compared to T-Mobile, the wireless carrier's spectrum portfolio still makes it an attractive merger and acquisition target for many companies.
The possibility of T-Mobile and Sprint merging was revived in late 2016 following Donald Trump's win in the latest iteration of the U.S. presidential election, with the new Republican administration being much more open towards major consolidations in the wireless industry compared to the opposing Democratic party. It's still unclear whether SoftBank will be buying T-Mobile or if Deutsche Telekom opts to acquire Sprint in the near future if the deal between the two materializes, and the same goes for the fate of Claure and Legere, as one of them would likely have to step down after the merger. More details on the matter are expected to follow in the coming months.