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Sprint Halts Courtship of T-Mobile US

Sprint has reportedly ended negotiations to acquire T-Mobile US, according to various news sources. Sprint made the decision 5 August 2014 at a board of directors meeting. The cause reportedly was concern that US regulators would find that concerns about combining the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless carriers outweighed the potential benefits, according to the Bloomberg news website. US antitrust regulators wants four national wireless companies competing and likely would have blocked the merger, according to insiders familiar with the deal. The acquisition also would have to have cleared a Federal Communications Commission public-interest review. Other news sources claimed that the financing of the proposed purchase, including how much each company would contribute, was a problem. Sprint is owned by SoftBank, and T-Mobile US is owned by Deutsche Telekom. “If Sprint can’t buy T-Mobile, it will be difficult for Sprint to [continue doing] business,” Yoshihiro Nakatani, a senior fund manager at Asahi Life Asset Management Co., told Bloomberg. Sprint has lost money every year since 2007. Some market observers say Sprint’s decision opens the door for Iliad, a French telecommunications firm that has offered $15 billion for a 56.6 percent stake in T-Mobile US. Dish satellite-TV provider and Mexican telecommunications company America Movil SAB have also expressed interest in acquiring the company. (Bloomberg)(CNET)(The Wall Street Journal)

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