Sprint and T-Mobile could join forces as soon as June 2014 according to recent rumors, but a new report from The Wall Street Journal claims the self-styled “UnCarrier” could get as much as $1 billion if the proposed merger is blocked by U.S. regulators. Citing anonymous sources, WSJ also claims T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom would retain some of the U.S. carrier’s brand and management even if the deal goes through.
Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank, which recently acquired Sprint, are both reportedly eager to close the deal, which still faces opposition from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. The deal could also hinge on an FCC ruling potentially limiting the amount of spectrum individual carriers can wield. If the FCC votes in favor of the proposed “spectrum screen” it could make it more difficult for T-Mobile and Sprint to combine existing spectrum.
If the Sprint-T-Mobile deal does fall through, it could echo AT&T’s failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile back in 2011. When the proposed $39 billion deal fell through T-Mobile received $6 billion from AT&T, paving the way for the carrier’s recent resurgence. $1 billion from Sprint might not have the same impact, but it certainly won’t hurt.