After years of speculation and rumors, T-Mobile and Sprint are apparently moving toward an agreement to merge. That’s according to a new report from CNBC.
The report says that the third and fourth largest carriers in the United States are in “active” talks:
Both companies and their parents, Deutsche Telekom and Softbank, have been in frequent conversations about a stock-for-stock merger in which T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom would emerge as the majority owner.
People close to the situation stress that negotiators are still weeks away from finalizing a deal and believe the chances of reaching an agreement are not assured. The two sides have not yet set an exchange ratio for a deal, but are currently engaged in talks to hammer out a term sheet.
Current T-Mobile CEO John Legere would lead anything that came from the merger. But there seems to be a number of issues to work out, including antitrust concerns:
The biggest issue is whether any merger between the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers in the nation would be approved by antitrust regulators. The risk of rejection by the Department of Justice will play an important role in the final decision made by both sides as to whether they will proceed with a deal.
Led by Legere, T-Mobile surged past Sprint to become No. 3 in the U.S. behind Verizon and AT&T.