Sprint and T-Mobile aren't getting together after all.
Since T-Mobile has over 10 million more United States phone subscribers than Sprint, it had been widely assumed that the combined company would primarily be owned by Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company. The Wall Street Journal now reports that SoftBank Group, Sprint's parent company, has called off the merger.
Another report from earlier this month claimed that the two companies were in the final stages of an agreement, and an announcement would come by the end of October.
The German parent had insisted on a controlling stake, according to a source familiar with the situation.
SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son, who was among the first businessmen to meet President Donald Trump after his election victory previous year, had been reportedly pushing for the tie-up as part of his effort to invest $50 billion in business and job-creation in the United States. The merger discussions have gone through several fits and starts over a long period, and it's unclear whether the companies will ultimately return to the table, the people said.
A deal between Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint and Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile would be certain to attract heavy scrutiny from regulators, since it would reduce the four largest carriers in the country to three.