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WSJ: Sprint is Preparing a Bid for T-Mobile

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According to a report out of the Wall Street Journal this afternoon, Sprint is preparing a potential bid for T-Mobile. If permitted, assuming Sprint actually makes the bid, the U.S. would be left with a third giant wireless carrier that could compete (in theory) with AT&T and Verizon. 

Sprint is reportedly “studying regulatory concerns and could launch a bid in the first half of next year” that could be worth up to $20 billion depending on how much of a stake they would want to buy. They have not yet decided whether or not they want to go forward with a bid.

Let’s say for a second that they do decide to push forward. As the WSJ notes, it would be a tough call from regulators and antitrust authorities, especially after AT&T’s bid for T-Mobile was shot down not even two years ago. Arguments over consumer choice and pricing would likely be another hot topic. It’s also fairly risky on Sprint’s end, as this isn’t exactly a type of move one would perform just to test the waters.

Should Sprint and T-Mobile merge some day, they would have roughly 53 million combined post paid subscribers, and hopefully the combined scale to help them take on the other two giants in the country. Verizon currently sits at around 92 million post paid subscribers, while AT&T sits at 72 million.

Would you favor a deal to make a third mega-carrier? The AT&T deal to acquire T-Mobile never seemed right as it would have grown AT&T immensely. Plus, with Verizon’s already massive hold on the industry, what would have happened to Sprint? But if Sprint and T-Mobile were to merge, maybe we’ll finally see the duopoly of AT&T and Verizon finally slow down some. Or do we even want that to happen? Do we like having smaller players in the game?

I guess we won’t know until Sprint actually makes a move.

Via:  Wall Street Journal
  • Andy Stetson

    Well, then I’ll finally be able to get T-Mobile in my location. Sadly, it would still only be 3G, as that is all Sprint has here!

  • Quint

    I certainly hope not. Sprint needs to deploy the boat load of spectrum.

    • Mike Hilal

      Sprint needs to scuttle their own ship and rid us from their cancer

  • Patrick Bateman

    i rather stick with primeco than go with sprint

  • mz

    And I was thinking about going to T-Mobile after my VZW contract is up.. I don’t want Sprint so now I may wait and see. T-Mobile needs to stay as is!

    • jimt

      I wish tmo was buying sprint. It may not happen.

      • mz

        Google needs to buy T-Mobile! End of story!

  • Cellphone Wizard

    Sprint’s service sucks and their customer service representatives don’t know their jobs. Their service is so overpriced that it’s crazy and makes your head spin. All an all T-mobile I actually think should turn them down and would be better off staying in the game as it’s own company and then comeback to buy Sprint out so that Sprint is no longer a company

  • MG

    Sprint just got rated by Consumer reports- worse carrier- enough said. Sprint needed softbank to survive. I assume with all the cash T-Mobile received from AT&T and their recent growth they are fine. T-Mobile has gotten even more aggressive with their re sellers as well. I don’t think you can do better than 35orless.com LIVE Plan

  • Michael Bell

    They are both awful carriers. They shall join forces and create Sprint Mobile..the worst carrier known to man.

  • atcchris

    Basically, T-Mobile is killing Sprint (I dropped Sprint for them), and Sprint has to do something. ATT and Verizon won’t complain, because this will take out the threat that caused them to have to pretend to innovate and care about the customer.

    Basically, everything good and awesome about T-Mobile will disappear. It would be horrible.

  • jak_341

    Except it really isn’t like the 1920s. This is not a monopoly. The Government already has too much leverage into business.

  • http://www.jmillionnyc.com/ Jason Million

    I have never liked Sprint nor dealt with them like that. Their data service is crappy as hell right now too. Seeing CDMA/GSM would be weird to see combine too. But I rather T-Mobile do what they been doing lately and building themselves up.

  • bitpimpin

    T-Mobile’s management and corporate culture/policy + Sprint’s spectrum holdings = WIN

  • Desa

    I still don’t understand why US Cellular hasn’t come up in purchase talks with anyone.

    • cellphonechris

      Privately owned and they refuse to sell.

  • michael arazan

    Or they’ll just join the Verizon ATT backdoor deal to not compete against each other and then we’ll have the 3 biggest carriers in collusion together on prices, which is illegal, but as long as the lobbyist keep paying congressmen off, it won’t matter.

  • JustinBailey

    If this happens I swear to god I’m going back to not having a mobile plan at all. I left Sprint to rot in the depths of service provider hell a decade ago. Sprint has a snowballs chance in hell of getting a single cent out of me.

  • mcdonsco

    For some reason I thought, if this ever happened, it would be the other way around.

  • Trevor

    I’d much prefer TMobile bought Sprint. TMobile at least seems to be headed in the right direction. Sprint? Not so much.

    Looks like Eric R beat me to this thought. But I agree with him nonetheless.

  • JabbaMac

    If anyone is going to buy Tmo it should be Google. I endured Sprint for four years of empty promises and premium data rates for 4G that still hasn’t materialized in my area. I just escaped Sprint. Joined t-mobile. Couldn’t be happier.

    • Jpx

      Same here, I just got T-Mobile this wednesday. And I haven’t received NOT ONE drop call, while Sprint I have a least one drop call a day. AND THIER Data services sucks tremendously. That would be awesome if Google did, and T-Mobiles model matches Google/Nexus the best

  • shooter50

    of all carriers I f-ing hate Sprint. Uber crappy service. even crappier customer service. Sprint is the dregs of cell service and I cannot figure out why anyone would sign with them. T-mo is coming on big time and in South Florida their service is awesome, but I would leave in a heartbeat if Sprint took over. Sprint has absolutely NOTHING to offer. Nothing.
    Even Straight talk has better customer service than Sprint. Heck, even the Dept of Motor vehicles has better customer service than Sprint.. The first month of Healthcare.com was more reliable than Sprint. I suffered for 7 years with a Sprint company cell phone and not once did I encounter a helpful Sprint employee. They have a culture of ignorance and treat customers as an inconvenience. If Sprint folded today they would not be missed.

    • shooter50

      and if you’re a Sprint employee reading this I’m probably talking about YOU!!! If there were a way to outsource in-store employees, I would recommend you all be replaced. The poorest trained, least understandable person in an overseas call center is still more helpful than a US Sprint employee. Most are so lazy and unhelpful they shouldn’t even qualify for unemployment because they never really do a thing to help their customers.

      • Chris

        so blame hundreds of sprint employees on one experience?

        • shooter50

          7 years of experiences with 15 phones for my employees and never one satisfactory experience.

    • KR

      “even the Dept of Motor vehicles has better customer service than Sprint”

      That’s a bold, bold statement.

  • Balthazar_B

    Verizon and AT&T would love this. When Sprint does its usual M.O., it’ll destroy the only competition left in a single fell swoop.

  • justjmatt

    No, no, no, no, no, no. Just, no. Leave the two alone.

  • ERIFNOMI

    Well as they stand individually they’re useless to me, so I wouldn’t be too upset if they pooled resources and turned into one carrier that could compete with VZW and ATT. They need to do it the right way though. If it turns into a massive T-Mo, that’s fine. A massive Sprint and no more T-Mo is a step backwards.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      More like 10 steps backwards…

  • Pat Leck

    They just want the customers and they want to be more in charge, as if they aren’t already.
    http://68e1509c.theseforums.com

  • Jason

    then would sprint have to switch everything over to GSM or would they stay on CDMA? I think it would be a good move, possibly better coverage

    • Chris

      both?

  • mark simis

    Since sprint was bought buy softbank one of the most powerful banks in the world I predict sprint to grow leaps and bounds in the next ten years.

    • Balthazar_B

      Jeez, where do these people come from, anyway? SOFTBANK IS *NOT* A BANK, EINSTEIN!

      • mark simis

        Whoa, you must of had a bad day. Sorry for my mistake Jeez. Cheer up:-)

    • Chris

      I never got why a damn foreign company wants to own an AMERICAN company

  • Gr8Ray

    The two carriers with the worst coverage in my area, combined? Would still be the worst coverage.

    • NexusMan

      Not really. Because the combined resources would go to building their service out.

      • El_Big_CHRIS

        but the time it would take to make them ‘good’ would be pretty long I’d imagine. This is one of the reasons I haven’t left VZW yet…

        • Robbie Gerling

          I left the VZdubs LTE network for Tmobile’s 4G non-LTE network and I’m completely stoked when I’m forced to drop to the regular 3G network on Tmo – its markedly faster than VZW’s 3G network. I’ll gladly lose my EPIC NATIONAL LTE coverage for better bandwidth when I’m forced to be on 3G.

        • Chris

          if you live in a rural area then yes…

  • IDLE0095

    Would rather see Sprint close down. There a horrible company. I work for a Private Cell Phone company and we cant move sprint phones if we gave them away. Same as US Cellular. Those two need to close shop.

    • NexusMan

      Sprint was my 1st mobile carrier ever…I see things haven’t changed.

    • Chris

      and put hundredsn out of work and thousands of people with out service? Thats real nice. Nicxe to see you are not running things

  • Maximus

    I would love this. The truth is…Sprint has THE most spectrum of any carrier. It also has the network backbone of many companies going through its pipes. Not to mention its secret ties to Google. Google fiber is Kansas City..Sprint’s headquarters…I actually love Sprint. I hope this does happen.

    • Balthazar_B

      Of course, they’re the worst managed. And yes, I do mean Softbank. What a pathetic company. BTW, what the hell you talking about, secret ties to Google? If Sprint has secret ties to anybody, it’s probably Microsoft.

      • Maximus

        It could have something to do with Google investing with Sprint in the original startup of Clear wireless. That made them bed buddies back then. But don’t take my word for it, have a read http://www.netcompetition.org/antitrust/will-google-become-softbank-sprints-silent-partner

        • Balthazar_B

          Google was an early investor in Clearwire. One of the worst investments they made, given they stayed in for way too long. I’m guessing they and Dish were in cahoots to get the spectrum, a deal that didn’t work out.

          • Fahad Beg

            There were rumors awhile ago of Google buying sprint and turning into their own carrier

  • Neil Fujiwara

    I was hoping it would be a company that has better infrastructure and capital to make a viable third carrier. Sprint has a tough enough time utilizing and upgrading their own spectrum.

    • Balthazar_B

      I’d really like to see T-Mo continue to grow organically, build up its network, and keep outsmarting the competition. If history means anything, Sprint (and Softbank, for that matter) couldn’t outsmart a sack of hammers.

  • Jess B

    nooooooooo

  • Tony Byatt

    Oh God, NO!

    • Chris

      calm down child

  • Fahad Beg

    im one of the few people that like sprint. If they switched there network to gsm, it would be perfect

    • Balthazar_B

      One of the very, very, very few, you mean.

      • Fahad Beg

        Yes

      • Chris

        2011 called. it wants you back

    • alzeis

      I too have no problems with Sprint at all. Where I live the service is just as reliable as it was when I had Verizon. As for customer service I have had no issues. I pay my bill on time every month and if I have an issue I go see my guy Joe at the local store and he gets things taken care of. Sorry to hear the rest of the country seems to be getting such poor service. No I do not work for Sprint I work for Ford

  • Sporttster

    Didn’t they already shoot down a ATT/Tmo merger?? What makes them think this one would be any different? Don’t get their logic here….

    • Adrynalyne

      ATT dwarfs SprintBank. Now imagine if they (ATT) added on Tmo…

    • laheelahee

      at&t + tmobile = too big
      sprint + tmobile = at&t = verizon

      • Sporttster

        Still bet they shoot this down……much with the same arguments they used on the ATT/Tmo merger.

    • Chris

      With AT&T and T mobile that would have been much bigger then verizon, but have the two smaller compnies merge it will be close to verizon as you can get.

      Really wish people would do their research first and educate themselves.

  • Lonetree

    Hasn’t the DOJ already said that four major carriers is the perfect number?

    • Adrynalyne

      Sprint is major?

      • Gadgets

        I had nothing but poor service and empty promises from Sprint for months before my contract finally expired. Now with an unlocked Moto X on T-Mobile and couldn’t be happier. Haven’t had a dropped call in a week; the first week in months. Please don’t make me go back.

        • Adrynalyne

          Yeah, I don’t see anything good coming from this. There were some people telling me how awesome Sprint’s LTE network would be and it would decimate all…just another lie.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Sprint: UnCarrier THAT!

  • Adrynalyne

    Don’t you mean Softbank is looking to bid for Tmo?

    • Chris

      no.

      • Adrynalyne

        Ah, I see accuracy is a lost art.

        Softbank is the majority stockholder in Sprint.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Sprint, on Softbank’s behalf then? Softbank is the major/controlling shareholder, but they don’t actually own Sprint.

      • Adrynalyne

        Majority stockholder makes you an owner.

        That is how hostile takeovers happen.

  • Kofi Williams

    Hopefully this doesn’t happen. I’d rather T-Mobile stay in charge, they really have been influencing the industry and making consumers aware of unnecessary spending. Sprint already had their chance after Nextel and they are not great with customers.

    • WickedToby741

      I’d be okay with this if, and only if, they do it reverse acquisition style and keep the T-Mobile branding, executive team, and plans. T-Mobile is making all of the right moves but they need a bigger and better network. A merger with Sprint could provide them with that, but it’d have to be completed with T-Mobile in charge in the end.

      • Britt Lewis

        my&nbspbuddy’s&nbsphalf-sister&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­K­­­­­­е­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­89&nbspevery&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­r&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspс­­­­­­ο­­­­­­Μ­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­ս­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbspwithout&nbspW­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­K&nbspfor&nbsp8&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ&nbspher&nbspρ­­­­­­а­­­­У&nbspcheck&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­13858&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­King&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspс­­­­­­ο­­­­­­Μ­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­ս­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r&nbspfor&nbspa&nbspϜ­­­­­­е­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­rs.&nbspRead&nbspmore&nbspon&nbspthis&nbspѕ­­­­­­і­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е, ….Perfect23.Com

        ▲▉▲■ ▲■▲▉ ▲■▲▉ ▲■▲▉ ▲■▲■ ▲■▲▉▲■▲■ ▲■▲▉ ▉A combination of the two would put them at 97 million subscribers, which is very close to AT&T and Verizon Wireless in subscriber counts.

      • zurginator

        Sprint providing T-Mobile a better network? That’s a laugh.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Sprint has the most spectrum of any network. However, they are much too slow at large-scale rollout, and only have a CDMA 3G network for backup. With all that spectrum at their disposal, and Sprint’s Spark technology for bonding disparate spectrum, and T-Mobile’s rapid network rollout experience, they could, together, build a network that easily rivals AT&T and Verizon within 6-12 months.

    • Mike

      T-mobile sucks, and the customer service is just awful, i hope sprint does get this.

      • Matthew DiGiacomo

        You’re an idiot.

  • Allen Byrd

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Y_ODcECzxGQ/T4sMKffGa8I/AAAAAAAAA88/LnQ8Dvynqbg/s1600/michael-scott-no.gif

    I hope Sprint dies soon. I don’t want their terrible management taking over T-Mobile.

    • Eric R.

      Tmobile should be taking over Sprint

      • Allen Byrd

        Eww, no. I don’t want them acquiring Sprint’s terrible network. haha

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

          That spectrum would be very useful to T-Mobile. The network can die in a fire, though.

          • Maxim∑

            Sprint has been trying pretty hard to improve there network and spark is really fast for now. Acquiring T-Mobile would give them the additional bandwidth they desperately need.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Acquiring T-Mobile would given them the rollout experience they need. Sprint’s biggest issue is that they are way behind in LTE because of the failed WiMax bets. They need T-Mobile’s aggressive LTE experience to really make an impact. They actually have more spectrum and bandwidth than any other carrier, they just don’t have the equipment out to utilize it yet.

          • Franz

            While I don’t think this is a good idea as well. I agree it should be T-Mobile buying Sprint if ANY kind of merger is going to happen.

            T-Mobile has experience integrating or playing with a CDMA buyout (SprintPCS). Sprint doesn’t, and knowing how they manage things, will screw it up.

      • WickedToby741

        That’s where a reverse acquisition would be great. Sprint/Softbank do the buying, but they keep the T-Mobile brand, strategy, and executive team just with the extra assets from Sprint. Right now at least the T-Mobile brand seems stronger so to me that feels like the best move.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Currently the T-Mobile brand is slightly stronger as far as customer good-will is concerned, but it only took them about a year to get there. Sprint is much better know in general, and if they come out swinging with a complete shift to T-Mobile’s pricing and plans, then the brand value would quickly turn around, I think.
          Also, swapping out the Sprint yellow for T-Mobile magenta would be a good way to show they are moving forward as a company.

    • Chris

      I hope you die soon with those silly gifs

  • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

    You have your numbers wrong. Sprint Communications Corporation has around 52 million subscribers right now. T-Mobile US, Inc has 45 million subscribers. A combination of the two would put them at 97 million subscribers, which is very close to AT&T and Verizon Wireless in subscriber counts.

    • Tim242

      While you are correct about Sprint’s post paid numbers, T-Mobile only has around 33 million.

      • jimt

        1215 is 2 days away Tmo might grow a million or two. Tmo should buy sprint.

        • Rafa

          12/15 is my Independence Day…from VZW! My N5 ready to be activated on T-Mo.

          • jimt

            I already activated Tmo a couple of weeks ago. I am going to port my Verizon number to Google voice and that cancels Verizon. I can’t wait!

          • http://www.techmantis.net/ Minja Miketa

            That’s what I did. If someone wants to call my Verizon number they can still reach me on voice and I use the new Tmobile one as my main.

          • jimt

            Happy Verizon Freedom day! Did you leave your gnex without a number? That’s what I plan to do. Did all go smoothly with Google voice?

          • http://www.techmantis.net/ Minja Miketa

            I actually left a GS3, which Verizon had given me for free as a gnex replacement when mine had problems. I left the S3 without a number and it shows service suspended on the account, was a family account where I wasn’t the primary. Everything went smooth, took 24 hours for the transfer and I get calls and texts there.

          • TylerCameron

            Why not just port your Verizon number to T-Mobile? That seems a lot simpler…

          • jimt

            I just ported 2 other phones to the new T-Mobile phones by just porting the number to the new phone. It messes up the phone for a day to even 3 days. The Phone doesn’t know what its number is for a while. The google voice is a one time thing. Should I change the phone to another with another number, I just point google voice to the new phone number—done. I always have my first number that always works to call me. I don’t have to tell anybody I have a new number. There is no porting charges from now on. Google voice does a lot of cool things also.

          • MicroNix

            Please, let us all know how that works out for you.

      • hebrewHAMMER

        I guess you couldn’t stay away from Droid Life, could you? They have you by the balls.

  • alexis orms

    Welcome to the Not Now Wait A little Bit Network