After years of on-again, off-again talks, it's official: T-Mobile and Sprint have announced plans to merge. The deal values Sprint at $59 billion (the combined company would be worth $146 billion) and will give T-Mobile the reins, with the carrier's John Legere serving as CEO and Mike Sievert continuing to operate as COO. Sprint chief Marcelo Claure will serve on the board of directors alongside Masayoshi Son, the CEO of Sprint's parent company SoftBank. If you ask the networks, it's all about 5G. The two claim they can roll out a "broad and deep" 5G network faster together than they would by themselves.
Telecommunications has changed a lot over the last the last decade. Now, access to telecom services seems to be everywhere. However, with only a handful of distinct companies, competition is fierce. Now that Sprint and T-Mobile are merging, the pool of providers has shrunk even more. What will the effect be on the market and on the consumers?
There have been hints that Sprint and T-Mobile are seriously talking about a merger (again), but how likely is that union, really? Quite likely, if you ask Reuters' sources. They understand that the two carriers are "close" to agreeing on terms, and they could have a deal ready by late October. There are the usual caveats (the tipsters say there's still a chance things could fall apart), but it's notable that Sprint and T-Mobile are apparently confident enough that there's a timeline. Sprint and T-Mobile aren't commenting on the reported leak, but both sides have dropped hints that they were thinking of a merger.
Wall Street Journal sources say the Department of Justice has told the carriers that their $26 billion union is "unlikely" to receive approval under its current structure. While the particular objections aren't available, DOJ offcials reportedly questioned claims that the merger would create "important efficiencies." State antitrust officials also have qualms with the merger, according to one of the WSJ's tipsters. The FCC is on record as having questions about both the claimed cost savings and their plans for wireless home broadband. T-Mobile and Sprint didn't have an immediate comment on the apparent leaks.