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.

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