T-Mobile’s stock dipped today following a report that Sprint is thinking twice about buying the Bellevue-based carrier.
Sprint has long been expected to make a move for T-Mobile since AT&T tried and failed to buy the company in 2011
Now objections from antitrust regulators who favor having four strong carriers have led Sprint’s parent company, Japan’s SoftBank, to pause it’s pursuit of the deal, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing people familiar with the situation. Those concerns also scuttled AT&T’s attempt to buy T-Mobile in 2011.
Top executives from Sprint and SoftBank met over the last month with the Department of Justice and FCC, the report said.
The report also suggests that T-Mobile’s gains from positioning itself as the rebellious “uncarrier” are pivotal. While regulators see the gains as evidence that the market needs four major carriers (T-Mobile is the fourth largest, behind Sprint, Verizon Wireless and AT&T), proponents of the deal see T-Mobile’s gains as temporary and unsustainable.
T-Mobile’s stock dropped below $30 but ended up closing at $30.07, down 1.2 percent.