A T-Mobile/Sprint merger is one step closer to becoming a reality after reports that Deutsche Telekom has already agreed on a sale to SoftBank. According to Reuters, Deutsche Telekom — which owns a 67% stake in T-Mobile — would be willing to keep a minority stake after selling to SoftBank, but smaller details, like an actual dollar figure, have yet to be worked out.
The biggest hurdle the two companies face isn’t so much coming to an agreement, it’s gaining regulatory approval. Deutsche Telekom has wanted out of the US market for quite sometime, while it’s clear SoftBank is looking to enter it after picking up Sprint for around $21.6 billion back in October of 2012.
But reducing the number of major US carriers from 4 to 3 is a tough pill to swallow, especially after seeing the strides T-Mobile has made in the past year or so. Of course, a lot of that had to do with the large $3 billion dollar break-up fee T-Mobile gained after their failed merger with AT&T (along with AT&T spectrum), but perhaps they have a similar backup plan this time around.
Just about everything is up in the air at the moment, so try not to get too worked up. The public outcry is sure to reach the higher uppers at the FTC, and quite honestly, we can’t imagine a US market without T-Mobile and it’s wacky CEO John Legere stirring up the pot.