T-Mobile US is close to agreeinging on tentative terms on a deal to merge with Sprint, sources told Reuters. Fred Katayama reports.
T-Mobile US is close to signing a deal to merge with Sprint, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The sources said Sprint's owner, Japan's SoftBank, will control forty to fifty percent of the combined company. T-Mobile's owner, Deutsche Telekom and the rest of T-Mobile shareholders, will take over the majority. A deal is expected to close by the end of October. A combined company would boast more than 130 million subscribers - just behind Verizon and AT&T - with revenues topping $70 billion. Sprint stock skyrocketed on the news. T-Mobile was up as well. Reuters Greg Roumeliotis is covering the story. He says the deal is not firm yet but offers perks for both companies: (SOUNDBITE) GREG ROUMELIOTIS, DEALS EDITOR, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There is a big capital investment required in the sector. You might have heard of so called 5G technology that's aimed at delivering data to your phone at the speed of broadband or better. It's very difficult for companies to handle that on their own. Plus, there have been a lot of price competition, and the companies are hoping that identifying synergies and overlaps in a merger will basically deliver some value." The deal would also have to get the blessing of antitrust regulators, waiting in line behind the $85 billion deal between AT&T and Time Warner.