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Mobile And Sprint Abandon Merger Talks

With T-Mobile Deal All But Dead, Softbank Looks To Charter

It was speculated that Softbank would seek to end negotiations earlier this week, but, according to The Wall Street Journal, T-Mobile has a new offer on the table that Sprint is considering.

Instead, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said today in a joint statement with T-Mobile, that even though no deal was reached, both Sprint and T-Mobile see the benefits to a combination of the two wireless operators.

Failure to clinch an agreement leaves SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, a dealmaker who raised close to $100 billion for his Vision Fund to invest in technology companies, with the need to find another option for Sprint. With its hoard of 2.5GHz high-frequency spectrum, Sprint would have been a ideal fit for T-Mobile and its cache of low-frequency airwaves in the 600MHz-700MHz bands. To shore up cash over the past two years, the company has already mortgaged a portion of its airwaves and equipment through sale leaseback deals.

Son met with Trump the month before he took office to talk up an investment in US businesses. The company has also badgered rivals with its unlimited data plans. While Deutsche Telekom would have preferred a deal, T-Mobile still has its unconventional CEO John Legere at the helm, ready to continue taking the fight to Verizon and AT&T.

The companies expected to have a better shot at the merger this year under the Trump administration. What can the next era of T-Mobile and Sprint do to gain ground? Initially, the merger seemed to be a done deal.

Deutsche Telekom representatives were believed to visit SoftBank's Masa Son this weekend, sources told CNBC.

This isn't the first time Sprint has tried to acquire T-Mobile, and it may not be the last. But Washington regulators have frowned on a possible merger.