Deutsche Telekom says final OK to Sprint merger with T-Mobile US
Deutsche Telekom has officially approved the $26.5 million merger of its T-Mobile US subsidiary with SoftBank’s Sprint operation.
The merger, announced six months ago after years of start-stop talks, still needs approval from a number of regulators, including New York state’s attorney general, Barbara Underwood, but John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile US (pictured), welcomed the news from Deutsche Telekom headquarters in Bonn.
“This is another step forward in creating the New T-Mobile, so we can deliver on our promise to bring robust competition to the 5G era, giving consumers more for less and creating jobs,” he said.
The combination of T-Mobile US with Sprint would operate under the T-Mobile brand, and SoftBank said earlier this year that it would allow Deutsche Telekom to manage its shareholding. That would mean Deutsche Telekom effectively manages a 69.1% stake in the combined US company.
What’s not clear is the future of Sprint’s global wholesale operation after the merger – and whether it would be folded into the newly rebranded Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier.
T-Mobile said that it had received a written consent of Deutsche Telekom Holding, the holder of approximately 63.5% of common stock in the existing T-Mobile US operation, in favour of the merger.
Legere said: “For more than five years, T-Mobile’s Un-carrier strategy has disrupted the wireless industry, and together with Sprint we will continue our mission by securing US leadership in nationwide 5G, creating a real alternative to fixed broadband and bringing a consumer-first mentality to entrenched giants.”
The combined company will have 70 million mobile customers, compared with AT&T’s 78 million and Verizon’s 111 million.
“We can’t wait to continue improving the wireless industry for all consumers as the New T-Mobile,” said Legere.
Capacity understands that Sprint and T-Mobile US hope the merger will be completed in the first half of 2019.