Sprint reportedly interested in acquiring T-Mobile, may offer bid in first-half 2014

by: Andrew GrushDecember 13, 2013

Sprint Logo-w600

The big four U.S. Carriers could be going down to just three sometime in the future, at least if a new report from the Wall Street Journal proves accurate. Reportedly Sprint is currently considering making an offer to buyout T-Mobile. Right now Sprint is said to be studying regulatory concerns but could end making a move sometime in the first half of 2014.

If Sprint does decide to offer a bid, the deal could end up being worth more than $20 billion, depending on the size of the stake that Sprint is trying to acquire. Keep in mind that $20 billion is considerably less than the $39 billion that AT&T offered T-Mobile before their deal fell through.

As you might have already guessed, Softbank (who recently acquired Sprint) is said to be the driving force behind this potential buyout plan. Softbank wants to further increase its control over the US wireless market, and adding T-Mobile to the mix would certainly be one way to kick things up a notch.

Combining Sprint and T-Mobile’s customer base would create a force that is more than 90 million strong. While their customer base would still be a bit smaller than AT&T and Verizon, it would certainly even up the playing field a bit more.

So would such a merger make sense? For Sprint, absolutely. Combining Sprint and T-Mobile’s customer base would create a force that is more than 90 million strong. While their customer base would still be a bit smaller than AT&T and Verizon, it would certainly even up the playing field a bit more.

You might be wondering why T-Mobile would ever consider such a deal. With their uncarrier efforts going well, they might not want to consider such an offer. That said, T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telecom is still said to be interested in exiting the U.S. Market and even T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere has previously said the company is potentially open to such deals.

Of course even if T-Mobile and Sprint both end up interested in making a deal, they’ll still be facing an uphill battle when it comes to dealing with the FCC and DoJ. As you probably remember, the AT&T/T-Mobile deal fell apart because of regulatory issues. For one thing, the US government didn’t seem to want there to be just three major carriers.

On the other hand, AT&T and T-Mobile combined is a much more powerful entity than Sprint and T-Mobile combined. If Sprint could make a proper argument about how AT&T and Verizon’s larger marketshare is hurting the U.S. cellular market or causing stagnation in the wireless business — maybe something could be worked out. Again, it’s hard to say one way or another this early in.

It’s also important to note that Sprint has yet to confirm the validity of this report, though we have reached out for comment. In other words, speculation is advised.

What do you think, could a T-Mobile and Sprint merger make sense if handled right?

  • Jonathan Sosa

    Sprint should keep its hands off T-mobile. I recently switched to T-mobile from Sprint. I just hate sprint.

    • Xavier_NYC

      Sprint is doing this purposely to stick it to you for leaving.. haha

      • Jonathan Sosa


    • On a Clear Day

      It would be a very bad move – for T-Mobile as well as U. S. consumers.

      Right now T-Mobile is the only carrier that actually has an orientation that is consumer conscious – the other three are still caught in doing everything they can with the hateful contract philosophy of round ’em up and close the gate on the corral; not to mention the onerous little detail that is attendant to all CDMA carriers of enabling them to lock you into their system with their proprietary phones.

      I would never go to Sprint or Verizon based solely on that fact – not to mention their pricing is non-competitive when compared to a company that is actually, truly working hard for your business – that would be T-Mobile.

      Of course, if at the end of the day Deutsche Telecom’s only interest is flipping their investment, irrespective of the intended or unintended consequences of their actions on Americas, then it might make perfect “business sense” – let us hope that the FCC and DoJ looks with just as much a jaundiced eye upon this anti-competition parlor trick as they did the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

      We need at least one major company that truly cares about offering options that help rather than hinder us; that open up options for us rather than close them off because free thinking individuals with choices, who are thinking are turning their backs on their self-serving offerings.

  • Zombiecidal

    I am with T-Mobile and think they would be making a huge mistake selling to Sprint. With their current plans and pricing I truly see them expanding in very little time to the point where the tables would turn and T-Mobile could be on the buying end.

  • Felisha Quana

    Just one correction; “Deutsche Telecom is still said to be interested in EXITING the U.S. Market…”, not excited. Although excited to exit still works.

  • Amadeus Klein

    Bring the T-Mobile Pricing strategy to sprint, then we might have a winner, but if the deal would bring the sprint pricing plan to T-mobile then it’s a loser….

  • Brett

    As somebody who is considering switching from Straight Talk(AT&T sim) to T-Mobile, this isn’t good news to me. Especially if they decide to replace the existing GSM network with CDMA.

    • Arturo Raygoza

      oh god how I hate straight talk, please switch over to T-Mobile prepaid its beautiful here :)

      • Brett

        The only thing stopping me is the coverage. T-mobile still has a ways to go here.

  • T-Mobile doesn’t need Sprint. They have amazing prices, improved coverage, and are making other major carriers copy them!

  • Justin Rebar

    Would this affect my $30 monthly bill? I left Sprint over a year now, I dont want to deal with them again.

  • The Dude

    If Sprint takes over T-Mobile, can I get out of my phone contract. I just did an ETF to leave sprint cause the suck balls and went to T-Mobile. I’d go with a Walmart plan before I go back to Sprint.

  • Venicehutch

    Considering the debt position of both Sprint and Softbank, I doubt th8s could be done.

  • wezi427

    I think that T-Mobile is on the upswing. I had Sprint years ago, and they were terrible. I think that competition is a good thing. T-Mobile has done some food things recently and has forced the competition to make some changes. I hope T-Mobile stays away from Sprint.

    • JayQ330

      Look up sprints easy pay plan, it’s thanks to T-Mobile & T-Mobile would still exist under a different name so for all anyone knows sprint might go the T-Mobile way. Sprint is giving a select few easy pay right now, I have it now; like T-Mobile’s one up, easy part allows you to upgrade to any phone whenever you want *up to 10 phones max at once *, you can upgrade without the 2 year contract, with those 10 phones you can activate lines for friends & families along with seeing the build or combining the bills however way you want, give one to a friend with a sperate bill from your family & if they don’t pay it won’t disconnect the rest of the phones within the 10 lines only the one you have your friend, you can take the phone back because you like a phone that was released 2 months later & take the new one with a short of reducing fee *something like that* now with T-Mobile merger the options on sprints ready pay are actually more than T-Mobile right now, I’m sure they’ll adapt the international calls & they both are Google network integrated. They have more in common than you know.

      • Wezi427

        I’m with Verizon. The only way I’m leaving them is if they take my unlimited data away. I purchase my phone outright. The unlimited is what catches my eye with T-Mobile. I appreciate your input.

  • Taronba

    No way, no how! it’s the Iden fiasco all over again, two different networks, two different technologies. Not happening! Either the Journal or the Android Authority is making this stuff up for web traffic.

  • Minda Zetlin

    What are your thoughts on the technical challenges posed by merging a CDMA and GSM network? Sounds like the usual synergy from mergers might not apply in this case, so the only advantage would be killing off a competitor…

    • JayQ330

      Sprint used to be gem & sold their home gem network to T-Mobile years ago, now with all of sprints channels being lte 3ggp technology that is basically GSM technology. It would make sense that when going all the way into VoLTE that they could easily go game sim card with the modern hardware they’ve been installing for the network vision… Combining that with T-Mobile would be easy. It’s Verizon that would have a hard time since their CDMA tech is partially old tech/mid & new tech, oh & some gem to.

  • JayQ330

    This could be just sprint alone on this buyout, hence the low offer, maybe by merging T-Mobile with sprint Dan Hess will be the majority holder again *loophole* I’m sure sprint has had money before softbank’s buy off 70% ownership was it? Sprint went on to buy clearwire & other investments with the “Obama phones”… anyway IMO it could be sprint’s original owners getting 30% back to be equal 50/50 partners, also the 20 billion offer could be for merging not a buyout, that could benefit both companies in the longrun even T-Mobile’s CEO, president & stockholders. T-Mobile seems like a slick company the way they got at&t, I can see them getting together to get softbank out somehow. What american company wouldn’t like to get their co. Back from a foreign company that has more power over your own ex company; especially if you have a way to get it back?