US mobile operators T-Mobile US and Sprint have reignited dormant merger talks for the third time in four years, people familiar with the matter have informed the Wall Street Journal. It is understood that the discussions were prompted by SoftBank Group Corp, which owns Sprint – the smaller of the two US players.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the most recent round of negotiations were abandoned in November 2017, as the companies were unable to find mutually agreeable terms. People briefed on the discussions said that SoftBank owner Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure rejected the merger terms set out by Deutsche Telekom (DT), because they did not give SoftBank and Sprint enough control over the combined entity.
Back in June 2014 Sprint unveiled a USD32 billion (USD40 per share) offer for T-Mobile US. The deal, which would have seen the German company retain a roughly 15% to 20% stake in the combined company, was eventually abandoned by SoftBank, after a hostile reception from the US authorities.