T-Mobile and Sprint are no longer heading toward a merger, according to Nikkei.
Negotiations between the two carriers’ parent companies had been ongoing for months. SoftBank, which owns the majority share of Sprint, will be contacting Deutsche Telekom in the coming days to inform them of the decision officially.
A broad agreement was reached recently, but it appears the controlling stake desired by Deutsche Telekom was too much for SoftBank to handle. The report suggests SoftBank wished to remain an active partner in the merged carrier. It’s unclear how the merged carrier would’ve been split; however, T-Mobile’s John Legere was expected to remain in charge. Deutsche Telekom was originally believed to remain in control of the new carrier.
Potential pushback from regulators could have also contributed to SoftBank calling off the merger.
It’s the future of Sprint that faces uncertainty now. While T-Mobile is continuing to experience growth, SoftBank’s brand is struggling. Sprint’s network is outdated, and customers have fled to competitors with better networks and more enticing deals. T-Mobile is among them. Although it’s still the nation’s third-largest carrier, T-Mobile’s network ranks equal to or bests Verizon’s in multiple areas.
Both carriers have gone down this road before, so it’s not out of the question for them to engage in talks once again in 2018.