We've been hearing rumors about a potential T-Mobile/Sprint merger for months, but the word on the street is that a deal is right around the corner. In fact, a new report out today suggests that T-Mobile, the nation's third-place wireless carrier, and Sprint, the fourth-place carrier, could announce their engagement as soon as next month.
According to Reuters, a "major breakthrough" has been achieved that would pave the way for the two companies to merge. According to leaked details surrounding the transaction, T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom would own a majority stake in the combined company, while Sprint parent SoftBank Group Corp would own somewhere between 40 to 50 percent.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure
If the deal passes U.S. regulatory muscle, the combined company would have a total of 130 million customer nationwide. For comparison, Verizon Wireless and AT&T -- the nation's #1 and #2 wireless carriers -- have around 146 million and 136 million customers respectively. That would put the combined forces of T-Mobile and Sprint within striking distance of muscling in on the current wireless duopoly.
A merger between T-Mobile and Sprint was under consideration in 2014, but pushback from regulatory agencies concerned that it would be bad for consumers led the demise of the transaction. However, there is hope that the current Trump admonition is more favorable to these mega-mergers and that it will sail through the regulatory approval process.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere has made it a point to be engaged with customers, posting frequently to Twitter and Facebook. He also often fires punches at Verizon Wireless and AT&T with regards to their customer service and download speeds. Legere even often rips the pair for constantly "ripping off" customer (his words, not ours) while using sometimes "colorful" language to get his point across.
Legere rarely goes after Sprint these days, likely as he doesn't see the company as much of a threat, and last month he was seen being chummy with Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure at the Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas.