It has been reported for several years that Sprint and T-Mobile have been thinking about a merger. The reports died down until recently. Word on the street was that Sprint and T-Mobile had started talking about a merger once again and that they were close to clinching a deal. There’s now another twist in this neverending saga. According to a new report, Sprint is calling off its merger discussions with T-Mobile.
Nikkei reports that Softbank, the Japanese company that owns a majority stake in Sprint, wants to call off merger negotiations with T-Mobile because the two companies can’t decide on what the ownership of the combined entity would be like.
T-Mobile has more than ten million additional phone subscribers in the United States compared to Sprint so the assumption was that T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom would primarily own the combined entity.
Previous reports suggested that Softbank was fine with this arrangement but today’s report claims that it’s not. The company’s board has voted not to relinquish control of the combined entity and has now proposed that the merger negotiations be called off.
The report does mention that Softbank is only going to propose ending the negotiations so it might be hoping that this decision makes Deutsche Telekom reconsider its position on all this. Whether or not it will do that is another matter altogether.
It appears that there’s some wiggle room here and it’s likely that we’ll hear more news about this in the days to come.