With the Sprint T-Mobile merger called off, what's next for the wireless carriers?
On Friday, in a board meeting with the Soft Bank of Japan, various directors conveyed doubts on giving up control over Sprint in any of the deal, as per sources.
While merger talks have been under way for months, SoftBank board members raised their concerns in the past few days, because it is now a make-or-break moment, with the sides very close to a deal, the person familiar with the matter said.
As reported by Nikkei, citing a source familiar with the situation, Deutsche Telekom - which owns a 66 per cent majority of T-Mobile US - had insisted on owning a controlling stake in the merged company. In particular, Softbank did not want to give up control of Sprint to the larger shareholder Telekom.
Sprint and T-Mobile have discussed a merger for years with many fits and starts, and it was unclear whether the companies will ultimately return to the table, the people said. Cable companies like; Charter Communications Inc and Comcast Corp are also stepping into the market with wireless service on airwaves of Verizon.
Sprint shares sank 9.5 percent in NY trading, while T-Mobile fell 5.5 percent. The merger was less critical for T-Mobile.
If the discussions fall apart then it would be the second time a failed attempt made in merging T-mobile and Sprint. The companies had been hoping their chances would improve under a more business-friendly Trump administration.