T-Mobile made a new merger proposal to Sprint which the fourth largest wireless carrier in the country is now in the process of reviewing, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the effort to save the consolidation that SoftBank reportedly decided to call off. T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere is said to have explicitly told Sprint head Marcelo Claure that the Bellevue, Washington-based telecom giant would prefer to keep the deal alive.
Insiders previously claimed that Sprint parent opted to quit the negotiations because Deutsche Telekom wasn't prepared to provide it with any significant level of control over the combined entity. While the two parties reportedly agreed to general merger terms, the matter of corporate power structure is something they weren't able to settle so far; the German telecom conglomerate agreed to an all-stock deal that would see SoftBank receive a premium for its assets compared to how Sprint's shares are currently trading, but only under the condition of having full control over the merged company, with SoftBank's founder and CEO Masayoshi Son only being awarded the position of a co-chairman of the theoretical entity which he would share with Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Höttges, according to previous reports. SoftBank allegedly wasn't prepared to agree to such conditions and proposed ending the talks several days back.
Sources now claim that the two parties may be able to reach a new deal in the coming weeks but nothing is set in stone and the future of the widely reported consolidation heavily depends on the concessions both would be prepared to make. If the deal eventually goes through and results in an official merger proposal, it's understood that T-Mobile CEO would be chosen to lead the combined entity. Besides T-Mobile and Sprint's parents still having to agree to a tie-up, the deal itself would also be subjected to heavy regulatory scrutiny from the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, and possibly the Federal Communications Commission, though the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai previously signaled that the agency may not stand in the way of such a merger. Neither party has yet commented on the matter in any capacity and both have previously only hinted that no M&A opportunities will be left unexplored in the near term.