According to Nikkei and the Wall Street Journal, Sprint and T-Mobile are no longer negotiating and will likely soon call off steps towards a merger. That news comes as somewhat of a shock, as reports for weeks have suggested that the companies may announce a merger before the end of October. That idea seemed even more likely last week as each released Q3 earnings without live calls or fielding questions, leading many to believe that they would announce something within days.
Today’s reports say that SoftBank’s (Sprint’s parent company) board met over the weekend and decided that they weren’t willing to give up control of Sprint to Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile’s parent), which had previously been the proposed arrangement. SoftBank could officially tell T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom either today or tomorrow that the merger won’t happen.
No matter what you think of this news, it certainly means that the US wireless industry will continue to operate with the same four major players. Sprint will have to heavily invest in network going forward if they want to seriously compete, just like T-Mobile has been and continues to do. I don’t know that either will close in on Verizon or AT&T in the near future, but T-Mobile has shown that it has figured out how to add customers in a time where everyone else seems to be shedding them.
This sad news or did you not really care to begin with?