Mobile Sprint merger may be saved with last minute compromise

A woman talks on her phone as she walks past T-mobile and Sprint wireless stores in New York

Sprint's previously explored deal with T-Mobile would most likely be completely off the table, should talks between Charter and Softbank take off.

The two companies have been dancing around a possible merger for years, and were again in the news in recent weeks with talks of the two companies coming together after all.

The will-they-won't-they status of a long-rumored T-Mobile-Sprint merger continues, as the two companies are reportedly continuing negotiations following reports earlier this week that talks had broken down. News of the merger falling through due to a breakdown in power management is not entirely shocking, given the massive dose of personality that CEO John Legere has injected into T-Mobile over his five year tenure; to lose any control over the company's management or image would nearly certainly break any talk of a merger, though it's still unclear exactly how things unfolded to lead to where we are today. "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", said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile US, Inc.

T-Mobile (70 million subscribers) and Sprint (54 million subscribers) are the nation's third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers, respectively. The wireless carriers "were unable to find mutually agreeable terms" and want to "put an end to the extensive speculation around a transaction", they said in a joint announcement.

T-Mobile is owned by Deutsche Telekom, and Sprint is owned by SoftBank.

It is still possible that Sprint will reject the new terms or decline investing any more effort into the potential merger.

Sprint has a lot of debt and has posted a string of annual losses. Based in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. Consumers are paying less for cellphone service, thanks to T-Mobile's influence on the industry and the resultant price wars.

Previous attempts have been made to court T-Mobile, but they appear to have run into trouble with federal overseers.

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