Sources: Sprint and T-Mobile Merger Announcement Likely This Summer

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According to people familiar with the matter, Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed in principle to a merger between the No. 3 and No. 4 mobile wireless carriers in the U.S. in a deal worth about $32 billion.  Sources reiterate that neither side thus far has conducted due diligence on one another, secured financing, or reached a definitive agreement, but the two companies have reportedly agreed to the basic structure of the merger.  Under the terms of the proposed deal, Sprint would acquire T-Mobile for about $40 per share in cash and stock.  Industry experts believe a formal announcement is likely sometime this summer.  In recent months, executives at both Sprint (54.6 million subs) and T-Mobile (49.6 million subs) have argued that the two smaller nationwide carriers need to combine forces and gain greater economies of scale in order to compete against sector behemoths Verizon Wireless (122 million subs) and AT&T Mobility (116 million subs).  Presently, Deutsche Telekom of Germany owns 67 percent of T-Mobile and SoftBank of Japan owns approximately 79% of Sprint.  Even if the deal is announced, it faces enormous regulatory opposition from the FCC and DOJ, which accounts for a rumored $1 billion break-up fee should the deal be dropped or blocked.  The federal government is already reviewing two huge telecom mega-mergers announced earlier this year, a tie-up between Comcast and Time Warner and AT&T’s bid to purchase DirecTV.

 

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