Sprint is openly interested in buying T-Mobile and has been trying to convince regulators that a merger will increase its ability to compete with AT&T and Verizon. Sprint may be fighting a losing battle, even as its chairman, Masayoshi Son, continues his charm offensive. Analysts skeptical of the merger compare the merger to AT&T’s attempted purchase of T-Mobile in 2011. The government shut that down, and according to Fierce Wireless, AT&T CFO John Stephens doesn’t think the government will change its mind with Sprint.
“It would be interesting to see if the government varies from that,” Stephens said at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, referring to the government’s decision in 2011. “I don’t think they will.” He went on to say that it “would be surprising today if they changed or reversed that opinion.”
Of course, Sprint is in a much different position than AT&T. Currently, AT&T and Verizon dominate the wireless industry, while Sprint and T-Mobile struggle to hold onto subscribers in third and fourth place. Chairman Son thinks Sprint and T-Mobile need to merge to compete on the same level as AT&T and Verizon.