Mobile and Sprint merger still in the works

Business								Image Source JeepersMedia

Sprint, the industry's No. 4 company with a 12.8 percent share, saw its stock jump 6.8 percent, to close at $8.20. As far back as three years ago, Softbank made an attempt to acquire the T-mobile parent but had to abandon the idea on the heels of U.S. antitrust concerns.

As an alternative, T-Mobile could issue up to 260 million additional shares of its stock, Stodden suggested, which would raise $17 billion at today's price of about $65 per share.

CNBC reported this morning that T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telecom and Sprint parent SoftBank "have been in frequent conversations" regarding a stock-for-stock tie-up that would see Deutsche Telekom become the majority owner of the combined carrier.

The "on again - off again" love affair that has gone on over the past couple of years between the nation's third and fourth-largest wireless carriers in T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) is back on, according to multiple reports.

Fritzsche also pointed to T-Mobile's large swath of 600 MHz spectrum, a low band that Sprint does not have.

Nothing is set in stone at this point, however, as sources say negotiators are still weeks away from finalizing a deal. Getting okay from FCC will be the biggest challenge for U.S. telecom players. Even if they agree on terms, it's unclear whether antitrust officials would approve a deal that reduces the number of major wireless carriers from four to three. MoffettNathanson analysts have estimated just a 50/50 odds of approval for the merger.

GSMA earlier said T-Mobile has become the fastest growing operator in the USA, with mobile service revenues growing around 10 percent over the last four quarters. Both sides are in talks to get the details on paper.

During Obama's regime, it was tough for Sprint to take the merger deal forward as AT&T's plan was snubbed by the Justice Department when it wanted to buy T-Mobile in 2011. Moreover, whether that deal gets approved remains the next question.

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