According to Gigi Sohn “The pricing and marketing actions of T-Mobile have pushed AT&T and Verizon to change their own pricing, data plans and marketing for the benefit of consumers”. The two wireless carriers are nearing a deal to merge, according to two people briefed on the matter, and an announcement could come as soon as this weekend. The companies were at the bargaining table twice before, most recently last year. Consumer groups could protest the deal. Sprint and T-Mobile are seen as important alternatives to the largest carriers, and have offered unlimited data plans while others have limited them. Sprint and T-Mobile were also the first carriers to allow people to unlock their phones. A merger would have to be reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission, which would determine if the deal would create too much concentration within the wireless industry and if it would be in the public’s best interest. If a deal goes through now, it will create a wireless giant with more than 127 million customers — large enough to challenge Verizon and AT&T, which have long dominated the market. As a result, three companies would control almost the entirety of the American wireless industry.
A deal would allow both carriers to stay competitive as the costs of retaining subscribers rose and bigger rivals built out next-generation wireless networks. Service providers are preparing to spend billions to expand their so-called 5G infrastructure, money that Sprint and T-Mobile are harder pressed than the competition to spend. Sprint has about $32 billion in debt on its books, while T-Mobile generates a small fraction of the cash that Verizon and AT&T do.
At the same time, traditional companies increasingly find themselves competing against newer contenders looking to chip away at the wireless market, including Comcast and Charter Communications, cable companies that have begun offering wireless service plans to their subscribers.
Regulatory hurdles and disputes over control of a combined organization halted previous merger discussions. The current negotiations between Sprint and T-Mobile are not complete, said the people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was confidential. The timing could change, or the talks could fall apart, they cautioned.
A merger would fulfill a long-frustrated dream of Sprint’s majority owner, Soft Bank of Japan. When Softbank took control of the American carrier in 2013, its ambitious leader, Masayoshi Son, boasted of defeating Verizon and AT&T in their own backyard. But to do so, he needed a bigger platform than Sprint alone and quickly began talks to buy T-Mobile, which, at $55 billion, has more than twice the market value as Sprint.
But the regulatory picture has grown hazier under the Trump administration. Soft Bank executives met last year with senior members of the administration to assess potential Sprint deals, while Mr. Son has courted President Trump with the promise of $50 billion worth of investments in American companies.
Carolyn is a technology graduate and loves to write about anything related to technology as well as writes in others sectors. Carolyn is a professional writer with over 7 years of experience. Initially starting off as a programmer, Carolyn decided to combine her knowledge about technology and writing and that’s how she joined Reporter Expert.