updated 06:10 pm EST, Fri February 24, 2012
Sprint broke off last minute MetroPCS deal
Sprint had been on the edge of buying MetroPCS, according to claims late Friday. The deal, said by CNBC to have been worth $8 billion, was broken off hours before it would have been made public. CEO Dan Hesse is believed to have greenlit the deal, only to have the board reject it.
The talks hadn't been confirmed by either party.
If true, it would show Sprint being eager to consolidate and get an edge versus AT&T and Verizon, which despite a failed AT&T merger with T-Mobile are still much larger. Concerns might have existed both over Sprint's ongoing losses souring the deal as well as the complexity of the network union. Both use CDMA and will soon share LTE, but differences in frequencies would have made an expensive transition.
MetroPCS as a regional carrier has typically had a harder time competing with major nationals. It has few exclusive devices and, because of its smaller resources, can't aggressively expand its network.