There’s long been talk of a merger between two of the biggest mobile communication providers, T-Mobile and Sprint. And whilst the merger is yet to officially happen, it’s largely considered by consumers to be a done deal. However, that couldn’t be further from the case, according to industry analysts – who believe that the merger between the two operators now looks less likely than it did om 2012.
The White House’s shift from the Obama administration to the Trump administration in late January sparked fresh speculation that the merger could be back on the table – considering the likelihood that President Trump a lighter stance on the industry than his predecessor, Barack Obama did. This comes after SoftBank shelled out over $20 billion in its bid to take over Sprint in 2012, with the hope to get its hands on T-Mobile as well, and merge the two carriers. However, when regulators in the U.S. opposed the merger, efforts appeared to take a dive.
Industry analysts now say that a merger between the two providers isn’t necessarily a done deal, as it was in 2012 – with an alliance being significantly less compelling to the two operators than it was a few years ago. T-Mobile alone now has a much larger market share than it did in 2012, growing quickly under its new CEO John Legere. Sprint, meanwhile, is a lot more financially stable than it was a few years ago, meaning its investors will likely want to avoid rocking the boat with a merger. There’s also the issue of T-Mobile’s value increasing so significantly that it may not longer be financially viable for SoftBank to acquire.
At the same time, there’s still the question of whether or not a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint would be approved by federal regulators. If the merger were to go ahead, it would see the two operators consolidate a significant portion of the wireless market, which the federal government has typically opposed in the past. Meanwhile, rival operators, including Verizon and AT&T are also likely to oppose the merger, considering that a combined T-Mobile and Sprint would be able to compete much more vehemently with the country’s two largest operators.