T-Mobile and Sprint chivvy regulators to bless their merger

May 03, 2018

JOHN LEGERE, the lion-maned boss of T-Mobile, made his wireless firm the fastest-growing carrier in America by cutting prices and giving customers better deals than AT&T and Verizon, which he relentlessly mocked on Twitter as retrograde behemoths. His personal brand as an industry maverick may have helped too. On April 29th he put that image to the test, agreeing to a combination with Sprint, the next largest carrier after T-Mobile, and creating a behemoth under his leadership.

The deal, all in shares, values the combined entity at $146bn including debt. If approved by regulators, it would squeeze the number of providers in the wireless market in America from four to three. That is a big “if”—twice earlier this decade, antitrust authorities have either stepped in to prevent such an outcome or indicated that they would do so, for fear of higher prices for consumers.

Mr Legere presumably knows the challenge, so he appealed to the political priorities of President Donald Trump....Continue reading

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