T-Mobile and Sprint were said to be in talks of merging earlier this year, once the Trump Administration took office – as this administration is much more relaxed when it comes to regulations, compared to the Obama Administration. Although things got quiet recently. Now, if a report out of CNBC is to be believed, things are heating up once again. According to CNBC who spoke with a few people familiar with the matter, Sprint and T-Mobile are in active merger talks. But these sources did stress that negotiators are still weeks away from making any deal final.
Nothing is official just yet, but it appears that this could be an all-stock deal for T-Mobile and Sprint. This would make Sprint-owner, SoftBank a large minority owner in the combined company. However, it is also being noted that current T-Mobile CEO, John Legere would be running the company. On the flip side Sprint chairman and SoftBank CEO, Masayoshi Son wants a say in how the combined company would be run. Which makes the entire thing pretty complex. This also shows that Deutsche Telekom isn't quite ready to get rid of T-Mobile US just yet, which is a huge difference from a few years ago, when it was shopping the company around to potential buyers.
Neither side, apparently, has agreed on terms for a deal just yet. But there's another level to this as well. Regulators will need to approve this deal, and it's something that both SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom will want to gauge before it makes a deal official. Regulators told SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom a few years ago that it would not approve a merger between the third and fourth largest carriers, which is why SoftBank dropped the potential merger and waited for a new administration to take office. CEO's of all four companies – T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Sprint and SoftBank – have all been quiet on the matter, and this is because they cannot legally speak about it while in merger talks. Which adds more credit to these sources that CNBC talked too. Things are getting interesting in the wireless world, and if these two companies combine, it would bring them to the level of AT&T and Verizon, with about the same number of subscribers.