Menu
Report: Sprint looking at buying T-Mobile

Report: Sprint looking at buying T-Mobile

The third-largest US mobile carrier might bid for its smaller rival next year, The Wall Street Journal says

Sprint is considering an acquisition of T-Mobile US that would reduce the U.S. mobile industry to three large carriers if approved by regulators.

The country's third-largest mobile operator, which itself was acquired by Japan's SoftBank only months ago, is studying regulatory concerns and might make a bid in the first half of next year, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Friday that cited unnamed sources.

A merger of Sprint and T-Mobile would eliminate one major national competitor from the market, so it could draw fire from antitrust regulators. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission shot down a proposed merger of T-Mobile and AT&T. If regulators react badly to Sprint's hints at buying T-Mobile, the bid may never happen, the Journal said.

Consumer activist groups wasted no time attacking the reported merger plan.

"The public doesn't need fewer competitors and fewer choices -- not when the wireless market already has so little competition," Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron wrote in a statement. "As they did in blocking the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, the FCC and Justice Department must carefully and closely scrutinize this deal and its impacts on consumers and their wallets. The public will get nothing good out of this deal."

"A stronger third-place competitor, better able to keep AT&T and Verizon in check, might sound appealing. But it's not worth the price of losing the number four competitor," said John Bergmayer, a senior staff attorney at Public Knowledge, in a blog post Friday.

A carrier with Sprint's and T-Mobile's combined weight could be a bigger rival to AT&T and Verizon Wireless, with more than 50 million postpaid subscribers, but it would still be dwarfed by the two largest carriers.

T-Mobile's market capitalization was about US$20 billion before its stock soared by nearly 9 percent following the Journal's report on Friday. The company is majority owned by Deutsche Telekom but went public earlier this year after completing its own buyout of MetroPCS, a smaller carrier. In 2011, AT&T offered about $39 billion for T-Mobile.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesantitrustsprinttelecommunicationregulationlegalmobilegovernmentT-Mobile USAMergers and acquisitionsCarriers

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments