UPDATE: A new report from Bloomberg has a few more details on the T-Mobile-Sprint talks, claiming that the deal would value Sprint at around $24 billion. The report also claims that the current deal terms would give Deutsche Telekom a 42 percent stake and a 69 percent voting interest in the combined company.
ORIGINAL: Following a report that said that T-Mobile and Sprint are working to reach a merger agreement as soon as next week, more details on their negotiations have leaked out.
T-Mobile and Sprint are finalizing the terms of a merger deal and want to complete an agreement in the next three days, say sources speaking to Reuters. Under the stock exchange ratio that’s currently being negotiatied, T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom would own a little more than 40 percent of the combined T-Mobile-Sprint, but will reportedly have voting control so that it can consolidate the company on its books.
The sources also caution that negotiations between DT and Sprint majority owner SoftBank could break down at the last minute.
Meanwhile, a report from The New York Times echos the claims that T-Mobile and Sprint are close to getting a deal done, saying that the two companies are in “advanced discussions” and that a merger agreement could be announced this weekend.
It’s kind of crazy to think that just a few weeks ago, there were no rumblings of any kind of T-Mobile-Sprint deal, and now here we are with the possibility that a merger will be announced this weekend. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if DT and SoftBank can actually come to an agreement this time or if the merger talks will abruptly end like they did last year.
Also worth mentioning is that even if a T-Mobile-Sprint merger agreement is reached, the deal will need to get regulatory approval before it can actually happen. Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was opposed to letting the number of major U.S. carrier drop from four to three, but current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai doesn’t appear to be quite as staunchly against a reduction in U.S. carriers. “I don’t think any regulator who embraces regulatory humility and intellectual honesty about economics can say whether three or four or five is the optimal number,” Pai said in a Recode interview last year.
How do you think the current FCC and Justice Department would respond to a T-Mobile-Sprint merger?