Yesterday T-Mobile and MetroPCS announced plans to merge pending regulatory approval, but Sprint wants to halt the deal by making an offer of its own.
According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek Sprint is considering a counter-offer to MetroPCS. Sprint is talking to advisers to see if it can afford to make an offer that beats the offer Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile USA’s parent company) made to the prepaid carrier.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse claimed that his company would be a part of the mobile industry’s consolidation. Hesse doesn’t want his company to just sit by as other major carrier buy up all the smaller carriers.
MetroPCS is one of the biggest regional carriers in the U.S., and taking that opportunity away is a potentially big blow for Sprint. There are other big regional carrier Sprint can try to obtain, but few have the reach and network of MetroPCS.
Sprint will likely decide if it wants to make an offer as soon as next week.
A major obstacle for Sprint if it does make an offer are the terms of the T-Mobile deal. If T-Mobile decides to end the deal, it pays MetroPCS $250 million. If MetroPCS decides to back out, it will need to pay T-Mobile $150 million. Sprint will need to find a way around that, or it will need to factor that payment into its offer if it makes one.
Even if Sprint doesn’t decide to make an offer to MetroPCS it could play a role in the potential merger. During the buyout process regulatory agencies lets U.S. citizens and companies voice their opinions on the deal. Sprint vehemently opposed the last potential T-Mobile merger with AT&T and made its opinion heard by as many people as would listen.