Sprint may consider purchasing T-Mobile in early 2014

Sprint may consider purchasing T-Mobile in early 2014
There have been minor rumblings here and there in the past that have brought up the possibility of a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, but suddenly there is a real report that wheels may be in motion. Or, at least someone over at Sprint is considering putting those wheels in motion, and Sprint may be considering placing a bid to purchase T-Mobile in early 2014.

The report comes from The Wall Street Journal, which is saying that Sprint is looking into the potential regulatory issues, and may end up trying to work a deal to acquire some stake in T-Mobile. It is unclear if it would be controlling interest or not, but a potential deal could be worth upwards of $20 billion, depending on how big a chunk of T-Mobile would be purchased by Sprint. 

Of course, there would undoubtedly be quite a bit of regulatory investigations and concern surrounding a potential deal like this. If Sprint were to purchase T-Mobile fully, it would create a new wireless carrier that would rival AT&T and Verizon, and there would undoubtedly be those who would worry that without more smaller "major" carriers like separate Sprint and T-Mobile, there wouldn't be as much market pressure to keep prices a bit lower. This is a main reason why the government denied the potential purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T. 

And, there is also the surprising success of T-Mobile's Uncarrier plans to take into account. T-Mobile has been able to make enough noise that other carriers have adopted similar "upgrade early" plans (though none are really good for the consumer), and AT&T has begun offering no-contract Mobile Share options and more. It would also be a concern that T-Mobile and MetroPCS just merged, and SoftBank recently purchased 78% of Sprint. That's a lot of movement in a short time.

Beyond that, the physical makeup of each network wouldn't mesh well at all. Sprint is CDMA-based behind its LTE network, while T-Mobile is GSM, and merging those networks would be fraught with difficulty. 

Still, Sprint wouldn't be making a move until early next year, so Sprint has at least a couple months to sort out the details. 

source: WSJ

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