The Sprint/TMUS troubled courtship has hit another bump in the road with Sprint rumoured to be in talks with Charter and Comcast to boost the two companies’ wireless offerings.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sprint has entered into a two-month period of exclusive negotiations with Charter and Comcast to sort out a network-resale agreement on better terms. As a result, merger talks with T-Mobile US have been put on hold until the end of the period.
For the moment, it is all rumour, and while the talks might well be happening the subject has been open to various permutations. One source has said Charter and Comcast were in preliminary talks to take an equity stake in Sprint as part of an agreement, a move which would provide more capital for Sprint to invest in its network.
Another source has stated Charter and Comcast could also look at jointly acquiring Sprint. That said, any agreement with the two cable companies does not necessarily rule out an additional merger agreement with T-Mobile US, the sources added.
Investors have long been expecting some sort of merger agreement between T-Mobile US and Sprint, combining the number three and four players. It would create an organization with the scale able to better compete against the two big boys in the US, AT&T and Verizon, though T-Mobile US is doing a pretty good job at disrupting the status quo on its own. US antitrust forces have been generally in opposition of the deal, but that is not to say it would not go ahead.
While it certainly is an interesting twist in the story, it could also lead to nothing. There are too many different rumours swirling around at the moment, but it is worth keeping an eye on developments here.