Mobile Sprint merger may be saved with last minute compromise

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The two network behemoths finally ended their merger discussions on Saturday after both companies failed to agree on mutual terms for the union, though they did not go into details. The announcement was followed by the recent unsuccessful effort to merge the third- and fourth-largest US wireless carriers, as Sprint parent SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGn.DE), both have shown reluctance to part with too much of their prized USA telecom assets.

"Going forward, T-Mobile will continue disrupting this industry and bringing our proven Un-carrier strategy to more customers and new categories - ultimately redefining the mobile Internet as we know it. However, we have agreed that it is best to move forward on our own", according to Sprint president and CEO and Softbank Board member Marcelo Claure.

Erik Gordon, a Ross School of Business professor at the University of MI says "Consumers are better off without the merger because Sprint and T-Mobile will continue to compete fiercely for budget-conscious customers,".

Sprint has a lot of debt and has posted a string of annual losses.

Sprint has sought to strengthen its balance sheet by cutting costs and mortgaging a portion of its airwaves and equipment.

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With growth opportunity in the United States remaining extremely slim for wireless carriers due to large-sized players and the highly mature nature of the market, Sprint will have to find a way to start growing its subscription count.

Reports suggest that a major hurdle to the merger wasn't Sprint or T-Mobile directly, but rather the their ownership.

AT&T's offer to buy T-Mobile in 2011 was spiked and the same regulators signaled in 2014 they would have been against Sprint doing the same thing.

An added wrinkle was Sprint's negotiations with cable companies Comcast Corp and Charter Communications Inc.

It comes as Sprint has somewhat struggled in an increasingly competitive USA mobile market.

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