Shares of T-Mobile TMUS and Sprint S moved higher in afternoon trading Thursday after T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter noted that Sprint would be a logical merger partner as the industry continues to consolidate. TMUS gained about 3%, while Sprint shares moved up more than 7%.
A merger could allow the third and fourth-largest U.S. mobile carriers to put themselves in a stronger position heading forward, especially considering the competitive advantage Verizon V and AT&T T will have as 5G networks begin to be deployed.
(Also read: Here's How To Invest In The 5G Data Revolution)
“The combined company would have the ability and the resources to really put all of that spectrum to work for the benefits of consumers and businesses everywhere,” said Carter.
Of course, a deal between T-Mobile and Sprint is not a new idea. The companies were engaged in late-stage merger talks back in 2014, but regulators in the Obama administration quashed the deal, opting to maintain a four-player mobile market. However, the Trump administration appears more willing to allow major M&A moves.
Mergers in this space were paused for about a year as a government spectrum auction required that participants avoid negotiations. That restriction was lifted on April 27. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure was reportedly in Washington on Thursday to meet with regulators.
T-Mobile is also said to be considering deals with a major cable company and/or DISH Network DISH.
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