Sprint’s parent company starts mulling a merger with T-Mobile.
Executives from SoftBank — Sprint’s largest shareholder — have started “preliminary conversations” about an eventual merger with Deutsche Telekom, which owns 65% of T-Mobile, according to Bloomberg. Sprint tried acquiring T-Mobile back in 2014, but the deal fell through over regulatory hurdles. Specifically, the Federal Communications Commission barred any mergers as it was conducting an $19.8 billion wireless spectrum auction. That ended on April 27, opening up the door for potential mergers.
With the current administration more amenable to mergers in the telecom industry, it looks like Sprint and SoftBank will take another look at possible options for a merger. Over the last two years, T-Mobile’s evaluation has soared to $55 billion, or $23 billion more than Sprint’s. A merger would give both entities a better chance against the top two carriers in the country, AT&T and Verizon.
SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son and Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges both expressed interest in a merger last week, but as of now, there’s no official word on the state of the discussions. A report from February stated that SoftBank would be willing to give up control of Sprint in order to bring T-Mobile to the table, but we’ll have to wait and see how the talks progress.