Report: Sprint Eyeing T-Mobile
December 27, 2013 at 5:59 AM (PT)
SOFTBANK, the company that owns a majority of SPRINT, was "in the final stages of talks" with DEUTSCHE TELEKOM, the German parent of T-MOBILE, regarding a merger of the two telecom powers, ARS TECHNICA reports.
Talks between the two parties were reported by the WALL STREET JOURNAL in early DECEMBER, noting that SOFTBANK was wary of trying to merge with T-MOBILE after AT&T's attempt to acquire it was thwarted by the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE and the FCC. Such a deal would face the same scrutiny from the government authorities.
SOFTBANK is rumored to offer over $19 billion for a 60 to 70% stake in T-MOBILE through its US subsidiary SPRINT. AT&T, on the other hand, had offered DEUTSCHE TELEKOM $39 billion for the carrier back in 2011. Together, SPRINT and T-MOBILE would have a combined 53 million postpaid subscribers, compared to VERIZON's 95 million and AT&T's 72 million. Thus, combining the third and fourth largest carriers would put the resulting company more on par with VERIZON and AT&T in the U.S.
SPRINT is currently the only carrier of an FM chip; making it available for T-MOBILE's subscriber base would be a boon for NEXTRADIO.
SPRINT’s bid is expected to be placed in Spring 2014.