T-Mobile US and Sprint Corporation have agreed a $26bn all-stock deal to merge the two businesses, which will operate the T-Mobile brand.
The merger, which was more than four years in the making, brings together the third and fourth largest US wireless carriers, creating a company with 127 million customers.
The deal, which will be subject to approval by US regulators, would place the new T-Mobile ahead of rivals Verizon Communications, which has 116 million U.S. wireless customers, according to Reuters, and AT&T which has 93 million branded customers.
Analysts have cautioned that approval may be difficult to obtain, citing the 2014 merger deal between the two companies, which was iced after the Obama Administration raised anti-competition concerns.
T-Mobile said the new company will be a “will be a force for positive change in the U.S. wireless, video, and broadband industries”. The merged business would have lower costs, greater economies of scale and will create thousands of new jobs for Americans. It will also be able to create a 5G network faster than either company could separately.
John Legere, president and chief executive officer of T-Mobile US, said in a statement, “This combination will create a fierce competitor with the network scale to deliver more for consumers and businesses in the form of lower prices, more innovation, and a second-to-none network experience – and do it all so much faster than either company could on its own.”
“As industry lines blur and we enter the 5G era, consumers and businesses need a company with the disruptive culture and capabilities to force positive change on their behalf.”
Marcelo Claure chief executive officer of Sprint, said the two companies had similar DNA, “The combination of these two dynamic companies can only benefit the U.S. consumer.
“We intend to bring this same competitive disruption as we look to build the world’s best 5G network that will make the U.S. a hotbed for innovation and will redefine the way consumers live and work across the U.S., including in rural America. As we do this, we will force our competitors to follow suit, as they always do, which will benefit the entire country.
“I am confident this combination will spur job creation and ensure opportunities for Sprint employees as part of a larger, stronger combined organization, and I am thrilled that Kansas City will be a second headquarters for the merged company,” said Claure.
The new company will be led by Legere as CEO, with T-Mobile chief operating officer Mike Sievert to retain his role. Claure will serve on the board of the merged company, along with SoftBank Group chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son. Tim Höttges, current T-Mobile US chairman of the board, will serve this role for the new company.