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Are Sprint and T-Mobile really merging?

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In an exclusive scoop over at Bloomberg it’s been revealed that Masayoshi Son is ready to play the long game when it comes to SoftBank/Sprint’s purchase of T-Mobile US from Deutsche Telekom. The site’s sources claim that the wealthy business man is asking banks to commit financing for a “longer-than-usual amount of time.”

In response, the financial institutions are wanting higher fees, since they are expecting the deal to take a long time to be approved by the U.S. regulators. Deutsche Telekom, the banks and SoftBank all expect the approval process by the FCC and Department of Justice to take at least one year after the the deal is announced officially. If/when the announcement is made by T-Mobile, Sprint or SoftBank, the banks have pruportedly given the companies 18 months to seal the deal. If that time period goes by without the seal of approval from the FCC or DoJ, the banks will pull the funding.

In theory 18 months is enough time to go from announcement to regulatory approval. But you never know what issues or negotiations might need to take place in that time. There’s always a chance of unexpected delay. And – of course – if the deal is blocked, or it doesn’t go through, T-Mo US stands to received more than $1 billion in compensation.

We heard already this week that the SoftBank/Sprint and T-Mobile are in the latter stages of ironing out some of the final points in the merger and buyout agreement.  So if an announcement is going to be made, I can’t imagine the companies will keep us waiting that much longer. I’d personally expect some for of official statement or press release before the year is out.

Are you for or against this deal? Can T-Mobile remain the “Un-carrier” if it merges with Sprint?

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