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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentmobileregulationMergers and acquisitionsbusiness issueslegaltelecommunicationsprintantitrustCarriersT-Mobile USA

Featured

Slideshows

Ingram Micro maintains Showcase 2018 momentum in Wellington

Ingram Micro maintains Showcase 2018 momentum in Wellington

Ingram Micro maintained Showcase 2018 momentum in Wellington, hosting more than 40 vendors at TSB Arena. Under the banner of Leading the Way, the event demonstrated what’s new, what’s next and how it can be used to improve business and everyday life.

Ingram Micro maintains Showcase 2018 momentum in Wellington
Ingram Micro launches Showcase 2018 in Christchurch

Ingram Micro launches Showcase 2018 in Christchurch

Ingram Micro kickstarted Showcase 2018 in Christchurch, hosting more than 40 vendors at Horncastle Arena. Under the banner of Leading the Way, the event demonstrated what’s new, what’s next and how it can be used to improve business and everyday life.

Ingram Micro launches Showcase 2018 in Christchurch
Data breach notification laws in NZ: How can partners prepare?

Data breach notification laws in NZ: How can partners prepare?

This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable outlined the responsibilities facing security partners today, assessing risk while evaluating the role of the vendor in providing added layers of protection.

Data breach notification laws in NZ: How can partners prepare?
Show Comments