“And there was much rejoicing.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Sprint has decided to give up its plans on merging with T-Mobile. According to its anonymous sources, both SoftBank and Sprint feel that winning the approval of U.S. regulators will be too difficult.
Sprint had been working on a bid for T-Mobile for months while studying regulatory opposition. Officials at both the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission had signaled early on they were happy with the number of wireless carriers and feared further consolidation of major players would harm consumers.
The FCC and DoJ haven’t made secret the fact that they both like a system where four major wireless carriers are in competition with each other, and convincing them that a bigger 3rd carrier would be better than 2 smaller ones was always going to be a challenge. The site claims that an announcement will likely be made tomorrow (Wed, Aug 6) morning. Sprint still feels consolidation is a possible route at some point in the future, but almost certainly not in form of a major transaction with T-Mobile.
We’re yet to see if this result will effect Iliad’s pursuit of T-Mobile US, or if the French carrier already knew about the impending collapse before any of us did, causing it to bid a much lower sum.