Sprint, T-Mobile to combine, companies announce

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Sunday, April 29, 2018
Sprint, T-Mobile to combine, companies announce
The two major mobile providers announced on Sunday that they would combine.

BELLEVUE, Washington and OVERLAND PARK, Kansas -- Sprint and T-Mobile are trying to combine again, and it could mean higher prices for consumers.

The companies announced on Sunday that they had agreed to merge and form the New T-Mobile.

The combined company would be valued at approximately $146 billion, according to a press release.

John Legere, the current Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile, will serve as the CEO of the combined company. He and Marcelo Claure, the current CEO of Sprint, explained in an announcement video that the new company will have a "broad and deep" nationwide 5G network.

"Verizon and AT&T and Comcast and the others better watch out," Legere said.

The deal would reshape the U.S. wireless landscape. The New T-Mobile would have almost as many subscribers the nation's two largest providers, AT&T and Verizon. This could mean higher prices for consumers, as the company would not need to lean on promotions as much to attract customers.

Sprint and T-Mobile have tried to combine before, most recently in October, but the deal was called off. Sprint has seen recent challenges, accumulating a lot of debt and struggling to provide reliable service to rural customers. T-Mobile, however, has been growing and making consumer-friendly changes, such as doing away with two-year contracts and bringing back unlimited data plans.

"T-Mobile does not need a merger with Sprint to succeed, but Sprint might need one to survive," wrote BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk.

T-Mobile was likely open to the merger due to slowing momentum, according to MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett.

In the press release, the New T-Mobile promised to both lower costs for customers and create more jobs, employing more workers than both companies of the former companies combined. At least one major telecommunication workers union believes it would do the opposite, however. The Communications Workers of America told the Associated Press that the merger would lead to a loss of at least 20,000 U.S. jobs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.