Sprint's Owner Wants a T-Mobile Merger, Is Open to Other Offers

UPDATE 1-SoftBank profit climbs, keen to talk about a deal for Sprint (9984, S)

T-Mobile has committed to building out a nationwide 5G network before anyone else and Verizon and AT&T will roll out trials of 5G as a home broadband service.

Investors are now bracing for a flurry of deals following completion of the spectrum auction amid hopes the new United States administration will be more open to deals that would transform the industry.

SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son's remarks that he wants to restart merger talks between his Sprint unit and T-Mobile US sent the shares of the USA wireless carriers surging Wednesday, as investors bet a deal may finally happen under the Trump administration's looser regulatory climate.

The latest merger interest between the two telecoms was raised by Masayoshi Son, the chairman of Sprint's parent company, SoftBank Group, in a discussion with reporters in Tokyo on May 10, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Sprint is struggling to find its place in the U.S. wireless industry right now.


Any deal involving T-Mobile would need the backing of Deutsche Telekom, which owns about 65 percent of the USA carrier.

"Basically anything is possible". With the new administration in office, however, Son says he now sees an opening for his merger plans. "If there is an opportunity that will lead to industry realignment under better conditions, we will study [each option] with an open mind". Neither Sprint nor T-Mobile ever commented publicly about the rumors at the time. But cost reductions at Sprint, which had been dragging on its earnings, also helped, while a strong yen was an unfavorable factor, the company said.

A week after T-Mobile announced its plan to build a coast-to-coast 5G network, Sprint threw its 2 cents into the 5G hat with an announcement of its own. Yet, the talks may not interest T-Mobile anymore, he added.

On top of that plea for Legere to consider coming to the table, Son also said he was willing to discuss other deals for Sprint "if there were better offers", according to Reuters. "I happen to think T-Mobile has many more alternative options than Sprint, but I am sure Masa would disagree".

Ultimately, mergers are tough, particularly at this scale, and few companies do them well, said Enderle. Masayoshi Son, billionaire founder of the Japanese internet and telecoms group, said for its full-year results.United States telecom groups have been temporarily unable to discuss deals during a government-run auction of airwaves.

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