Rumors about a possible Sprint and T-Mobile tie-up have been floating around since late 2013, but today a new report has surfaced that claims that the deal has taken one big step closer to actually happening.
According to Japanese news agency Kyodo, SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom have agreed on a deal that will see SoftBank buying T-Mobile USA. SoftBank is the majority owner of Sprint here in the U.S., and Deutsche Telekom owns T-Mobile US.
Details of the possible deal aren’t known, but it’s said that Deutsche Telekom may hold onto around a 15 percent stake in T-Mobile US. Sources speaking to Reuters say that DT may be go easier on SoftBank in regards to a break-up fee than it was with AT&T because the potential deal will keep the T-Mobile brand and have T-Mo CEO John Legere as its leader.
Of course, even if SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom have reached an agreement, that’s no guarantee that a deal will get done. The transaction would still need to gain approval from regulators, which could be difficult. We saw with AT&T’s attempted acquisition of T-Mobile that the U.S. government isn’t totally keen on reducing the number of major U.S. carriers from four to three, and with all of the major shake-ups that T-Mobile has been causing with its Un-carrier movements, regulators may not want to see T-Mobile and Sprint merge.
What do you think of this rumored deal? Do you think that SoftBank/Sprint will end up getting together with T-Mobile?