Economy

Sprint, T-Mobile restore merger talks

Sprint, T-Mobile restore merger talks

Some rumors refuse to go away, and a potential merger between T-Mobile and Sprint in the United States is one of them.

Sprint and T-Mobile are back to talks about a merger that would combine the nation's third and fourth largest mobile carriers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Indeed, according to a recent report from Cowen, T-Mobile's merger plan with Sprint previous year involved shutting down around 30% of Sprint's cell sites and then deploying Sprint's 2.5 GHz spectrum nationwide. The two wireless carriers have reportedly rekindled discussions, and even though investors have been through this before, more than once, and have been burned when no deal materialized, that didn't stop them from buying up both stocks when the news broke on Tuesday afternoon.

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If the past dictates the future, well, we might all be able to see where this is going. Their last attempt ended over disputes about the controlling entity. Sprint also had more than $32 billion in net debt as of December 31. T-Mobile didn't immediately respond to emails seeking comment. The carrier has had a proven strategy under CEO John Legere, but read here for why I wouldn't get too excited about yet another TV service being added to an already confusing array of offerings from the leading pay-TV providers and content makers.

It was reported in early October of a year ago that the two carriers were talking about merging their operations together, but T-Mobile eventually issued a press release the following month saying that the deal was dead as they "were unable to find mutually agreeable terms".

Despite supporting the repeal of Net Neutrality in favor of less regulation, the Trump administration and the FCC have ironically opposed this merger. "However, we have been clear all along that a deal with anyone will have to result in superior long-term value for T-Mobile's shareholders compared to our outstanding stand-alone performance and track record". We all know a deal makes sense. However, a deal never materialized - mainly because of control. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.