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T-Mobile stock rises as Sprint parent says it’s eager to start merger talks

The shares of the U.S. wireless carriers surged Wednesday, as investors bet a deal may finally happen under the Trump administration’s looser regulatory climate. Sprint’s stock later gave up its gains; T-Mobile ended the day up 0.8 percent.

SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son’s remarks that he wants to restart merger talks between his Sprint unit and T-Mobile US sent the shares of the U.S. wireless carriers surging Wednesday, as investors bet a deal may finally happen under the Trump administration’s looser regulatory climate.

Son, who became one of the world’s wealthiest men by turning Tokyo-based SoftBank into a telecommunications and technology powerhouse, sees a merger with Bellevue-based T-Mobile as critical to creating a more robust competitor in a U.S. wireless business led by Verizon Communications and AT&T.

The billionaire considered buying T-Mobile before, but abandoned the effort when officials at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department signaled they would oppose such a deal. Now, with Donald Trump in the White House, almost everything is on the table for the nation’s cable, telecommunications and media CEOs.

“Basically anything is possible. But I think the No. 1 favorite, the quickest route to synergy, is the option that we pursued from the start — T-Mobile,” Son told reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday. “However, it’s also up to the other side and whatever conditions they may have. Therefore, if there are other opportunities for industry consolidation that offer better conditions, of course we want to consider them with an open mind.”

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Representatives for Sprint didn’t respond to messages seeking comment. T-Mobile declined to comment.

T-Mobile stock initially rose as much as 3.3 percent Wednesday while Sprint climbed 2.8 percent, but they both gave up their gains in later trading. T-Mobile stock closed…

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