Mobile, Sprint Abandon Mega-Merger Talks

Mobile, Sprint Abandon Mega-Merger Talks

Mobile, Sprint Abandon Mega-Merger Talks

T-Mobile US Inc. The telecomm giants said that they have stopped negotiating and will remain independent entities.

Both companies jointly said they couldn't strike mutually agreeable terms.

Over the past few weeks, numerous merger updates have bubbled up from anonymous sources. It seemed this most recent deal was doomed to failure, as well.

Reuters also speculated that the atypical nature of Saturday's joint statement may signify that the two companies are trying to preserve a relationship and sustain the possibility of an eventual return to talks. At this point, talk of a merger is between Softbank and Charter, rather than having direct involvement with Sprint.

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".

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"While we couldn't reach an agreement to combine our companies, we certainly recognize the benefits of scale through a potential combination. However, we have agreed that it is best to move forward on our own", said Marcelo Claure, Sprint's CEO.

Sprint and its owner, the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, have always been looking for a deal as the company has struggled to compete on its own. It's unclear exactly what measure of control Charter would be able to exercise over Sprint, or over Softbank's other ventures and holdings. Earlier reports indicated that Deutsche Telekom would own a majority stake of the combined company if a merger was completed. Had T-Mobile and Sprint completed a merger, Reuters says the new company would have claimed more than 130 million subscribers.

In December, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son met at Trump Tower with then-President-elect Donald Trump, rekindling speculation that SoftBank would renew merger efforts under a Republican administration.

Sprint "look [s] forward to continuing to take the fight to the duopoly and newly emerging competitors", Claure said. It slipped behind T-Mobile to become the country's fourth biggest mobile provider, and has a significant amount of debt. "We won't stop now".

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