T-Mobile Fuels Talk of Sprint Merger as 'Logical Ultimate Combination'

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest communications mergers in Q2 2013.**

After thwarting AT&T's attempt to buy T-Mobile USA two years ago, U.S. regulators seemed to make it clear that four is the perfect number of major wireless carriers. But T-Mobile didn't get the message.

Speaking this week at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, T-Mo CFO Braxton Carter said he expects we'll see more consolidation among wireless carriers – and not just involving the little guys. We might see Sprint and T-Mobile attempt a merger in the future, Carter told Reuters, referring to it as "the logical ultimate combination."

Regulators might be more willing to smile upon a team-up between the third and fourth-largest carriers as opposed to one involving AT&T or Verizon, which each have about double the number of subscribers as Sprint and T-Mobile. Carter told the audience that further consolidation is "not a question of it, but when." He said a Sprint-T-Mobile team-up would actually create a more competitive environment since Verizon and AT&T are so much larger than each on its own.

Don't expect any news on this front really soon. T-Mobile just recently wrapped its purchase of MetroPCS, America's fifth-largest wireless operator, while Sprint this summer closed on its purchase of Clearwire; Sprint, in turn, sold three-quarters of its company to SoftBank of Japan. So there's still a lot of integration to be done.

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