USA antitrust obstacles seen for T-Mobile, Sprint deal

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"Maybe a simple merger, we may be dealing with T-Mobile, we may be dealing with totally different people, different company".

According to unnamed sources that spoke to the site, SoftBank is reportedly frustrated with Sprint's growth in the United States and is ready to surrender control of the company and take a minority stake in T-Mobile. Once the auction ends in April, though, it's expected that SoftBank will approached Deutsche Telekom about a deal.

Sprint has begun looking into a potential merger with T-Mobile once again, according to Reuters. In 2014, Chairman Tom Wheeler told Sprint and T-Mobile officials in a meeting that he was highly skeptical of Sprint's bid for T-Mobile. Dish Network, controlled by founder Charles Ergen, has amassed almost 80 MHz of spectrum but needs a wireless partner.

"Nobody is talking right now", said T-Mobile CEO John Legere. "A merger with Dish could add valuable spectrum, video content and an internet video platform, though it would have fewer (operating) synergies". Rivals Verizon and AT&T have been recording profits magnitudes higher than Sprint and T-Mobile.

Federal regulators blocked AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile in 2011, saying a market structure with four national players would benefit consumers.

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Currently, SoftBank owns 83% of Sprint, and they could give a controlling stake of that over to Deutsche Telekom if they were able to make a deal to merge the third and fourth largest carriers in the US. At that time, Sprint appeared the likely buyer, with SoftBank's support.

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.

"There will definitely be less resistance to a merger like this", the partner said.

Speculation that Sprint could be a seller arose after SoftBank's fiscal Q3 earnings call on February 8.