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SoftBank linked to Charter talks as doubts cast on Sprint/T-Mobile tie-up

05 November, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Lydia Fleming
  • Giant International Egos May Derail The Sprint T-Mobile Merger

SoftBank's talks to merge USA unit Sprint (S) with T-Mobile US (TMUS) ended after months of negotiations, dashing investors' hopes for a wireless megamerger and signaling that unlimited data plans and heavy price discounting among USA carriers will continue.

The companies issued a joint statement Saturday, after a week of speculation, saying they "have ceased talks".

T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere spoke with Sprint Chief Executive Marcelo Claure on Wednesday, after a T-Mobile board meeting in NY where directors agreed to renew their overtures to Sprint to keep the deal alive, the report said. But, he continued, "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". Neither Sprint nor T-Mobile immediately replied to requests for comment by CNNMoney. "However, we have agreed that it is best to move forward on our own", said Marcelo Claure, Sprint's CEO.

This would be the second time an attempted merger of Sprint, controlled by SoftBank Group Corp (T:), and T-Mobile, controlled by Deutsche Telekom (DE:), has failed.

Even if they had arrived at a deal, T-Mobile and Sprint would have faced heavy regulatory scrutiny to complete a merger.

T-Mobile, meanwhile, has been on a yearslong streak adding customers. But Washington regulators have frowned on a possible merger. SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son reportedly did not want to give up control of Sprint. Legal experts also said earlier this year that it was hard to predict whether the current administration would be more receptive of a deal. After the government nixed AT&T's attempt to buy it in 2011, T-Mobile led the way in many consumer-friendly changes, such as ditching two-year contracts and bringing back unlimited data plans.



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