Sprint reportedly met with Justice Dept to talk T-Mobile deal

Masayoshi Son, head of Sprint parent SoftBank, and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse are attempting to smooth the way toward a merger, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank's CEO.
Masayoshi Son, SoftBank's CEO. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Sprint appears to be paving the road for a merger with T-Mobile.

Masayoshi Son, CEO of Sprint parent SoftBank, and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse recently met with officials from the Justice Department to gauge their views on a deal between the two wireless carriers, according to The Wall Street Journal. They were reportedly met with skepticism.

There have been rumblings of a potential merger between the third and fourth-largest wireless carriers in the nation, with Sprint having reportedly lined up financing and T-Mobile executives saying that a merger would allow them to better compete against AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

But regulators have maintained a preference for four national wireless carriers in the industry, with T-Mobile's resurgence making a good case for the government that all of the current players can both survive and thrive.

CNET contacted representatives from Sprint and T-Mobile, and we'll update the story when the companies respond.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere, for his part, has said a deal would make sense, but noted that the "Uncarrier" campaign wouldn't go away, suggesting a preference to take over a potential combined company, rather than Hesse's team.

T-Mobile has seen a dramatic return to subscriber growth as Sprint continues to languish under a long network upgrade process that has resulted in the company falling behind in the LTE race.

Still, both carriers could -- and will -- argue that neither can legitimately compete against AT&T and Verizon, which control two thirds of the wireless market.

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About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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