After trying to merge with T-Mobile in 2014, SoftBank may once again make a serious attempt at merging T-Mo and Sprint.
SoftBank wants to make a T-Mobile-Sprint merger happen, say sources speaking to Reuters, and the company is willing to give up control of Sprint to do so. SoftBank controls 83 percent of Sprint, but it’d reportedly be willing to give up control and take a minority stake in a combined T-Mo-Sprint in order to convince T-Mo parent company Deutsche Telekom to agree to a merger.
It’s said that SoftBank is growing frustrated with Sprint’s lack of major growth in the US market, and so it wants to merge with T-Mobile in order to better compete with Verizon and AT&T.
No talks between SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom are currently happening because of the FCC’s 600MHz spectrum auction that prevents collusion between competing companies. Once the auction ends in April, though, it’s expected that SoftBank will approached Deutsche Telekom about a deal.
So will a T-Mobile-Sprint merger actually happen this time? The CEOs of SoftBank and Sprint have expressed interest in doing a deal, and T-Mobile CEO John Legere has said that a merger with Sprint is “one of many potential future outcomes” of T-Mobile working to continue growing. Some have also suggested that the political environment under President Trump would be more accommodating of a T-Mobile-Sprint merger, so that could also help a deal get done this time.