SoftBank reportedly seeking Sprint merger with T

Sprint is reportedly making another run at T-Mobile — and T-Mobile is up 5%

According to a Reuters report on Friday, Sprint parent company SoftBank is prepared to cede control of Sprint to T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, as part of a proposed merger of the two us carriers. The auction, which is being overseen by the FCC, ends on March 30, and negotiations are expected to begin at that time. Sprint is now up $0.31 (3.39%) to $9.31, after trading down all day, and T-Mobile jumped up $3.01 (4.97%) to $63.62. Lead by colorful and irreverent CEO John Legere, T-Mobile has carved out a niche as a carrier that is willing to take on Verizon and AT&T with attractive pricing, fun promotions, and innovative plans (which are often later copied by the competition).

IBD'S TAKE: Weibo and Broadcom are on IBD's Leaderboard, which follows top stocks from their work on forming bases, through their breakouts, to their post-breakout action, up to the point where they start topping. Dish Network, controlled by founder Charles Ergen, has amassed almost 80 MHz of spectrum but needs a wireless partner.

It remains to be seen if regulators will have the stomach for a second round of merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile. "A merger with Dish could add valuable spectrum, video content and an internet video platform, though it would have fewer (operating) synergies". AT&T also once attempted to purchase T-Mobile, but that deal fell through too after being blocked by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. According to the information, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is frustrated with the lack of growth from Sprint would cede control of Sprint over to Deutsche Telekom in order to get a T-Mobile deal done. At that time, Sprint appeared the likely buyer, with SoftBank's support.

"There will definitely be less resistance to a merger like this", the partner said.

Speculation that Sprint could be a seller arose after SoftBank's fiscal Q3 earnings call on February 8.

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