Sprint Hints at Potential Merger With T-Mobile

**Editor’s Note: Please click


for a recap of the biggest communications mergers of Q2 2013.**

The same week that T-Mobile USA’s chief financial officer called a potential Sprint-T-Mo merger "the logical ultimate combination," a Sprint exec hinted at the same on Thursday.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based carrier’s CFO, Joe Euteneuer, told investors that more consolidation in the wireless industry is coming preaching the benefits of having three major operators instead of four. "When you get down to three comparable-sized players, you get much more effective competition," CIO magazine quoted Euteneuer as saying.

If you add Sprint and T-Mobile’s subscribers together, they equal approximately the same number that AT&T and Verizon each have. The biggest roadblock to a potential tie-up between Sprint and T-Mo would likely be the U.S. government, which put up roadblocks to an AT&T-T-Mobile merger two years ago, making it clear that it likes having four major players. That being said, a merger between the No. 3 and No. 4 operators might be a different animal entirely.

Both companies have been very active in M&A this year. Sprint bought spectrum-rich Clearwire, then promptly sold three quarters of itself to Japan’s SoftBank. T-Mobile bought MetroPCS, the fifth-largest wireless operator. Bigger rival AT&T has an agreement in place to buy prepaid operator Leap Wireless (dba Cricket Communications) and Verizon just bought Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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