updated 02:52 pm EDT, Thu May 29, 2014
Deutsche Telekom may have agreed with Softbank's terms of the deal
Reports are circulating that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company, has agreed to a proposed deal to sell the US wireless carrier to SoftBank. The deal would combine SoftBank's Sprint, with T-Mobile, merging the third and fourth largest US carriers into a single company with more than 103 million subscribers. Terms of the rumored deal are not yet known.
Sprint has been formulating a position to convince the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice that the merger would not harm the US wireless industry. US regulators have historically denied large-scale acquisitions in the wireless industry. Despite regulatory concerns, the combined carrier will still only sit third in customer volume inside the US.
Beyond just US regulatory approval, any deal would require approval by the boards of directors of all four companies involved in the deal -- Sprint parent company SoftBank, T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom, plus the Sprint and T-Mobile boards themselves. The demands by Deutsche Telekom seek to alleviate disruption to the company should the effort fail.
"This is the country that invented internet," Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son told Walt Mossberg at yesterday's Code conference discussions when asked about US broadband speeds. "At my home in Silicon Valley I say, oh my god, how can Americans live like this?"