T-Mobile and Sprint may have been cleared for their merger by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, but T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom may be going back to the drawing board in some respects.
Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Deutsche Telekom is looking to renegotiate the price of Sprint, given that its value has fallen from where it was when terms were first agreed upon. The news is not unexpected given Sprint’s current position in the market, as the fourth largest carrier has continued to bleed subscribers.
In fact, one of the arguments the companies made in their court case was that, without a merger, Sprint would not have the ability to continue forward as a national carrier. Instead, it would likely have to abandon a number of markets and settle for being a regional carrier.
Given the situation, it’s unlikely Sprint parent SoftBank will put up too much of a fight, although there are no guarantees. SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son ended the previous round of merger negotiations in 2017 because of a dispute over which company should have the controlling interest in a combined T-Mobile. In spite of the fact that Sprint was already losing ground and T-Mobile’s future was looking brighter than ever, Son wanted SoftBank to have the controlling interest in the merged company, not Deutsche Telekom.
Considering how far Sprint has fallen, however, Son may not have much room to negotiate this time around.