Talks to merge Sprint and T-Mobile in jeopardy over control dispute

Softbank ready to call off Sprint-T-Mobile merger talks - report
Softbank's Masayoshi Son May Have Blundered With Sprint
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01 November, 2017

Investors have cheered on a combination of T-Mobile, the third-largest US wireless carrier, with No. 4 Sprint as a way to cut costs and forge a bigger competitor to take on AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc.

Deutsche Telekom AG and SoftBank have outstretched a stand-off to their talks for merging T-mobile US Inc and Sprint Corporation on how many shares each one of them would hold in the amalgamation, a told by people known with the matter to Reuters.

The snag in the negotiations could torpedo plans in merging the T-mobile and Sprint into a single carrier with over more than 130 million US subscribers, controlled by the Deutsche Telekom, at the back of AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. However, Softbank's board discussed at a meeting 27 October that the company would not give up control.

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Sprint shares sank 9.5 percent in NY trading, while T-Mobile fell 5.5 percent. This time around, Softbank is supposedly passing off the proposed end-of-talks to Deutsche Telekom, but until either company makes an official announcement, then the merger talks will be hanging in limbo. Back in 2014, it wooed the company before getting scared that antitrust regulators wouldn't allow it to merge. A completion of the takeover would have put SoftBank in control, and Deutsche Telekom as a minority shareholder. The merger was less critical for T-Mobile. Sprint, T-Mobile and SoftBank representatives didn't immediately reply to requests for comment.

The companies had been hoping their chances would improve under the more business-friendly administration of US President Donald Trump.


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