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T-Mobile, Sprint may seal their merger deal real soon

An announcement could come as early as the end of the month.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere
The Un-Carrier, led by CEO John Legere, is going to get a whole lot bigger. 
Sarah Tew/CNET

At this point, a deal between wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint seems all but inevitable. 

The talks are close to wrapping up, according to Bloomberg, which pegs an announcement coming by the end of the month, likely during one of the companies' earnings reports. The two sides are just deciding on the final exchange ratio for the stock swap deal, the report says.

A merger would bring together the third (T-Mobile) and fourth (Sprint) largest wireless carriers in the nation, creating a stronger competitor to Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Theoretically, their combined wealth of spectrum and network infrastructure assets could lead to better coverage, although that could take years to settle out. 

The deal would call for T-Mobile CEO John Legere and his management team to take control of the combined company, according to a person familiar with the deal talks.

The two companies have flirted with a merger before. Sprint's parent, Japanese carrier SoftBank, tried to strike a deal with T-Mobile majority shareholder Deutsche Telekom back in 2014, but dropped its attempt when the government signaled that it favored four national competitors. The odds might be better now under a more business-friendly Trump administration.

Even as separate, smaller entities, both companies have made an impact on the industry over the last few years. T-Mobile eliminated contracts and phone subsidies and last year led the push to bring unlimited plans back to the industry in a bigger way. Sprint introduced the concept of a phone leasing plan and this year began offering a year of its service for free. 

T-Mobile declined to comment. A Sprint spokesman wasn't available for comment.

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