It's been a long and bumpy road, but almost two whole years after entering into an agreement
designed to change the status quo of the US wireless industry for good, T-Mobile and Sprint are cleared at last to become one "new" and powerful carrier.
A huge victory for the merger of the century
Unsurprisingly, T-Mobile and Sprint have started their celebration dance
shortly after receiving a favorable New York Federal Court verdict, thanking the Court for its "thorough review of the facts we presented in our case" and declaring this a "BIG win and a BIG day for the New T-Mobile."
While the two cellular companies, which are owned by Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank respectively, can now "FINALLY focus on the last steps to get this merger done", it's obvious from the way their joint press statement is phrased (and even titled) that this is still not a 100 percent done deal.
Before America's "big four" carriers can consolidate into a big three group with a much stronger third player, T-Mobile and Sprint are highlighting their combination remains "subject to certain closing conditions, including possible additional court proceedings, and satisfactory resolution of outstanding business issues among the parties."
Will the financial terms of the deal be renegotiated at the last minute?
You don't have to be very fluent in legalese to guess what those "outstanding business issues" are probably about. After all, it's been a long time since the $26.5 billion agreement was reached, and plenty of things have changed in the US wireless landscape in the past 12 months alone.
It's therefore not surprising to hear rumors of a renegotiation possibly taking place in the eleventh hour, with T-Mobile most likely pursuing a significant price cut. Although T-Mo badly needs to seal the deal once and for all too, as Sprint's mid-band spectrum is essential for its next stage of 5G development, the smaller carrier may not have enough leverage to resist a renegotiation in Magenta's favor.
At the end of the day, it remains essentially impossible to predict when the mother of all wireless mergers will be finalized, but T-Mobile thinks that could happen "as early as April 1, 2020." If it does, it's going to be one awesome parting gift for John Legere, who just so happens to be officially scheduled to pass the CEO baton to current COO Mike Sievert on April 30