T-Mobile and Sprint to announce merger ‘without selling assets’
16 October 2017 | Natalie Bannerman
T-Mobile and Sprint are rumoured to be announcing its much-anticipated merger agreement without any immediate asset sales, says Reuters.
Sources close to the matter have said that the two companies intend on holding onto as much of its spectrum holdings and cost synergies as they can before regulators begin asking for concessions.
Without proper concessions in place, T-Mobile and Sprint could face a difficult period of negotiations with the US antitrust and competition regulators.
Only last week we reported that a deal between Sprint and T-Mobile was likely to be settled by the end of this month, though Reuters claims that there is skepticism among some in the US Justice Department over the deal, which could lead to further delays in the long run.
The two companies are said to be preparing a negotiating strategy once the agreement is announced, that will aim to meet demands from regulators on asset sales, which includes the selling of some of its spectrum licences.
In a separate report earlier this month, UBS research analyst John Hodulik said that it is likely that the Federal Communications Commission will force T-Mobile and Sprint to sell some of its spectrum because the combined company would have more than 300 MHz, which is the most airwaves in its sector and puts it ahead of Verizon and AT&T.
The specifics of the companies’ announcement will focus on the benefits the deal will create for US consumers, which includes the development of 5G wireless technology, which is lacking in investment.
Commenting on the story, Craig Moffett, research analyst at MoffettNathanson, said: “It is better for Sprint and T-Mobile to listen and learn the concerns of regulators first, and see whether there is anything that can be done to address those concerns”.