Sprint and T-Mobile end merger negotiations

T-Mobile and Sprint work to save merger talks WSJ

Even if they had arrived at a deal, T-Mobile and Sprint would have faced heavy regulatory scrutiny to complete a merger.

"While we couldn't reach an agreement to combine our companies, we certainly recognize the benefits of scale through a potential combination", Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said Saturday in a joint statement with T-Mobile.

John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile US, Inc., added, "The prospect of combining with Sprint has been compelling for a variety of reasons, including the potential to create significant benefits for consumers and value for shareholders".

T-Mobile has seen growth in customer numbers in recent years, which many view as a reward for pioneering more customer-friendly options such as dropping two-year contracts, The Associated Press reports. The company had eyed the Deutsche Telekom company as a way to grow its own footprint in the U.S. and take on the two big carriers in the nation, AT&T and Verizon.

On Monday it looked as if SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate with a majority stake in Sprint, would end negotiations because of concerns about the ownership structure of the combined business, according to reports from Nikkei and The Wall Street Journal.

In 2014, the nation's No. 3 and No. 4 wireless providers considered joining forces but eventually called off merger talks because it was believed the USA regulatory hurdles under the Obama administration were too steep.

T-Mobile has been particularly aggressive - and successful - in challenging its two larger rivals. If the companies had struck a deal this year, they would have had a better chance of getting government approval under the Trump administration. Tokyo-based SoftBank had previously seemed amenable to a stock-for-stock merger that valued Sprint at or near its market price, with no premium, people familiar with the matter said last month.

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