Economy

Sprint, T-Mobile on final approach for deal this month

Sprint, T-Mobile on final approach for deal this month”

The oft-rumored T-Mobile-Sprint merger may be nearing its completion. SoftBank Group Corp., the majority owner of the fourth-largest US carrier, would accept a valuation around Sprint's market price, people familiar with the matter said in September.

The deal itself is likely to be announced by late October when both wireless carriers detail their consolidated financial reports for the third quarter of the year. Sprint's been trying to play catchup to T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon for a number of years now, but apparently, the carrier's numerous attempts haven't been enough.

A deal would call for T-Mobile CEO John Legere and his management team to take control of the combined company, according to a person familiar with the deal talks.

The deal's not expected to have a traditional breakup fee, Bloomberg says, which cuts risk in case the merger is rejected on regulatory grounds (similar to when Comcast walked away from Time Warner Cable after regulator pressures).

While no breakup fee provision is planned at the moment, SoftBank may still push for a cash termination payment if it feels it has compromised more than it would like on other issues that haven't yet been finalized, one of the people said.

"Beginning an investigation into a merger of T-Mobile and Sprint now will allow your agencies to quickly, but fully, review the agreement if it is announced", they wrote. Informal discussions between SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom (Sprint and T-Mobile's biggest shareholders respectively) began in May, and a new report suggests that we could see a merger between the two carriers by the end of October.



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