Economy

Sprint/T-Mobile merger is off, preserving wireless competition (for now) ars_ab.settitle(1196461)

Sprint/T-Mobile merger is off, preserving wireless competition (for now) ars_ab.settitle(1196461)

Indeed, one can't help but wonder what a combined T-Mobile and Sprint would have looked like, what with T-Mobile CEO waging all-out war on the competition - Sprint included - and the wireless industry as a whole.

SoftBank, the Japanese telecom company that owns Sprint, insisted on retaining a controlling stake after Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's owner, showed interest in taking control, the report said.

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Failure to agree on favorable ownership terms will result in SoftBank calling off merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile, according to sources who say the change may happen tomorrow.

Assuming that the report is true, it signals the end of months of rumors about a potential merger between the two networks.

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According to the Journal, the two were discussing an all-stock deal that would give Deutsche Telekom control, but over the weekend Softbank's board of directors balked.

The two firms had held talks in 2014 on a merger but ended discussions in the face of opposition from United States regulators. On Monday, the decision was reportedly made to pull out of the merger. T-Mobile was down about 5%. Meanwhile, it appears the merger of America's third- and fourth-largest carriers remains in limbo.

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SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son, who was among the first businessmen to meet President Donald Trump after his election victory a year ago, had been reportedly pushing for the tie-up as part of his effort to invest $50 billion in business and job-creation in the United States. AT&T struck a $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile in 2011, but terminated it after facing the same objections from the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice.