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.