"T-Mobile does not need a merger with Sprint to succeed, but Sprint might need one to survive", Piecyk wrote in an October research note.
Legere conveyed to Mr. Claure that T-Mobile and its parent company, Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, didn't want the deal to fall apart, the report said. A merged T-Mobile-Sprint would have been a major challenger to number two AT&T, and could have given Verizon a run for the top spot in a few years. The investment ignited speculation about Son and SoftBank trying to revive merger talks. "However, we have been clear all along that a deal with anyone will have to result in superior long-term value for T-Mobile's shareholders compared to our outstanding stand-alone performance and track record", said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile US, in a prepared statement. However, we have agreed that it is best to move forward on our own.
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Marcelo Claure, Sprint President and CEO added in the statement: "While we couldn't reach an agreement to combine our companies, we certainly recognize the benefits of scale through a potential combination".
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SoftBank plans to boost its stake in Sprint, already above 80%, by acquiring shares in the open market, people familiar with the matter said, though it won't seek full control.
The previously proposed merger with T-Mobile was supposed to help both carriers fill gaps in coverage and increase their speed and capacity, along with allowing spectrum interlock to make 5G deployment across diversified solutions easier across the entire USA market. Legal experts also said earlier this year that it was hard to predict whether the current administration would be more receptive of a deal.
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This isn't the first time Sprint has tried to acquire T-Mobile, and it may not be the last.