The push to merge wireless rivals Sprint and T-Mobile is taking longer than expected and likely will delay news until mid-or late November, according to a published report.
Bloomberg, in an online post Thursday, said the companies had hoped to announce news late this month when they normally would report quarterly updates on their financial results and customer counts.
That timetable “now appears unlikely,” said Bloomberg’s report, which cited sources familiar with the talks.
“If a deal can’t be signed by then, the companies will probably wait two or three more weeks after disclosing quarterly results to announce an agreement,” Bloomberg said, citing its sources.
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Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son has wanted to acquire T-Mobile since shortly after gaining control of Sprint in 2013 through a $21.6 billion transaction. Son is CEO of Tokyo-based SoftBank Group Corp. that owns more than 80 percent of Sprint’s shares.
T-Mobile US is roughly two-thirds owned by Deutsche Telekom, which had agreed in 2011 to sell its US wireless carrier to AT&T. Federal regulators blocked that $39 billion deal citing a preference for four national wireless carriers to three.
Son had publicly campaigned in 2014 about the benefits of a merger between the nation’s No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers. But regulators made clear that they were not interested in seeing the number of national wireless competitors decline. Son dropped his merger mission and replaced then Sprint CEO Dan Hesse with its current CEO Marcelo Claure.