Report: Sprint owner SoftBank agrees to move forward with T-Mobile merger

Report: Sprint owner SoftBank agrees to move forward with T-Mobile merger
According to a report from international news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), the oft-rumored merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is one step closer to being a reality. Japan's SoftBank, which owns 80% of Sprint, has apparantly reached an internal decision to proceed with the deal. SoftBank, and Deutsche Telekom are discussing a stock swap, which is expected to be announced this month. The German phone company owns 64% of T-Mobile.

The AFP says that SoftBank is looking at ways to get the required approvals from the U.S. FCC and the Federal Trade Commission. A previous attempt to put T-Mobile and Sprint together in 2014 failed when the FCC and FTC hinted that such a deal would not get approval even though $50 billion of bank financing was reportedly offered to Sprint to buy T-Mobile.

Almost four years later, there are some big changes when discussing this potential deal. One, T-Mobile would now be the buyer. The carrier has leapfrogged Sprint to become the third largest wireless operator in the states, and is also the most innovative among the major stateside firms. Previous reports concerning a possible deal stated that T-Mobile president and CEO John Legere, easily the most recognizable executive in the industry, will run the combined company.

The merger would allow a third large carrier to compete with number one Verizon, and number two AT&T. In fact, a combined T-Mobile Sprint would have 131 million subscribers which is very close to the 136.5 million wireless subscribers that AT&T had in the second quarter this year. During the same quarter, Verizon had 147.2 million wireless customers.

source: AFP

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