If you’re not a fan of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, this news may not make you happy. Reuters is reporting that T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom has agreed to terms with Sprint parent company Softbank to sell T-Mobile. This would move Sprint and T-Mobile closer together, likely merging the two US carriers.
This news comes to Reuters via Japanese news agency Kyodo, who are citing “industry sources”. They’re reporting that sometime in mid-May, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son proposed his terms to Deutsche Telekom, and was received favorably. T-Mobile’s parent company has been actively pursuing a sale of the company they hold a 67% interest in, and have been outspoken about the need for carrier consolidation in the US.
At the Code conference, this week, Softbank’s Son praised T-Mobile CEO John Legere’s efforts to shake the industry up. Legere is believed to be the frontrunner for the CEO spot if the two companies merge, where current Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has said he’d gladly step down to let Legere rule. Son and Legere are also similar men with swashbuckling ambition.
Though the merger may have been hammered out, the FCC still has the final say. They’ve recently made moves to allow smaller carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile equity in spectrum auctions, a move believed to stop this merger short. The FCC is outspoken about their desire to have four major carriers in the US, so it seems push may have come to shove.
There is no indication at this time any finalized paperwork has been filed, or any agreement committed to. The deal is believed to be upwards of $40-50 billion, roughly double what Softbank paid for Sprint two years ago.