Sprint considering takeover bid for T-Mobile
US operator Sprint is reportedly considering a bid to acquire T-Mobile US in early 2014.
According to local reports, the company is still exploring the regulatory concerns before it enters into concrete discussions
There are concerns that such a deal could be blocked by regulators on competition grounds, with regulators insistent that the market should have four national competitors. US regulators blocked AT&T’s 2011 bid for T-Mobile for the same reason.
The possible deal is also causing concern among consumer-rights organisations, who argue that the wireless market already has too few competitors.
Sprint and T-Mobile are the country’s third and fourth-largest players respectively, behind AT&T and Verizon.
Sprint has been interested in combining with T-Mobile for years. T-Mobile saw a strong return to growth at the end of this year, but both companies are still some way off the customer base enjoyed by the market leaders.
A takeover would still leave Sprint in third place in the market, but much closer to AT&T and Verizon in terms of customer numbers.
Both Sprint and T-Mobile US have argued that the merger would give them the scale to make the network investments and spectrum purchases needed to compete against Verizon Wireless and AT&T.