T-Mobile US Inc is close to agreeing tentative terms on a deal to merge with Sprint Corp (S.N), people familiar with the matter said on Friday, a major breakthrough in efforts to merge the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers.
The transaction would significantly consolidate the U.S. telecommunications market and represent the first transformative U.S. merger with significant antitrust risk to be agreed since the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump in January.
The progress toward a deal also indicates that T-Mobile and Sprint believe that the U.S. antitrust enforcement environment has become more favorable since the companies abandoned their previous effort to combine in 2014 amid regulatory concerns.
The latest development in the talks between T-Mobile and Sprint comes as the telecommunications sector seeks ways to tackle investments in 5G technology that will greatly enhance wireless data transfer speeds.
Once terms are finalized, due diligence by the two companies will follow and a deal is expected by the end of October, though talks may still fall through, the sources said.
A merger would create a business with more than 130 million subscribers, just behind Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc. Revenues would top $70 billion and analysts say there would be massive scope to cut costs.