Sprint, T-Mobile shares sink after report says talks off

Reuters

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. Sprint owner Softbank and T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom had already struck a broad agreement on principle and had even begun debating how to integrate the two companies' networks. We've watched for years as SoftBank, who owns Sprint, and Deutsche Telekom, who owns T-Mobile, have danced around a merger of the nations third and fourth largest carriers.

SoftBank Group, which owns Sprint, has called off a planned all-stock deal that would have merged the two wireless companies.

The German parent had insisted on a controlling stake, according to a source familiar with the situation. It seems that SoftBank's executives aren't on board with that idea and voted to call off the talks.

A merger with T-Mobile could have helped position Sprint as a viable competitor to Verizon and AT&T, the two biggest mobile carriers in the US (Sprint sits at #4 and T-Mobile at #3).

The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that SoftBank may back down.

SoftBank looked into buying T-Mobile as far back as 2014, but backed down after telecom regulators made it clear they would block any acquisition of the fourth-largest U.S. carrier. T-Mobile was down about 5%. Many had assumed that since T-Mobile has an advantage in total subscribers that it would hold a majority ownership in the combined company.

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