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T-Mobile and Sprint have finally announced a merger agreement

Sprint and T-Mobile, after years of going back and forth as to whether they are going to tie up two of the largest telecom providers in the U.S., have announced that the two companies have entered a merger agreement this morning.
The merger will be an all-stock transaction, and will now be subject to regulatory approval. That latter part is going to be its biggest challenge, because it will not only tie up the No. 3 and No. 4 carriers into the U.S. into a single unit, but also that international organizations hold significant stakes in both companies. SoftBank controls a majority of Sprint while Deutsche Telekom controls a significant chunk of T-Mobile. Following the administration’s intervention in the Broadcom-Qualcomm takeover attempt, it isn’t clear what will actually go through in terms of major mergers these days.
Bloomberg is reporting that Deutsche Telekom will have 42% ownership of the combined company, while SoftBank will own around 27% of the company.
As expected, the argument here is for the expansion of 5G networks as plans for that start to ramp up. T-Mobile argues in its announcement that it will help it be competitive with AT&T and Verizon as telecom companies start to roll out a next-generation 5G network, though it does in the end remove a carrier choice for end consumers in the U.S..
“The New T-Mobile will have the network capacity to rapidly create a nationwide 5G network with the breadth and depth needed to enable U.S. firms and entrepreneurs to continue to lead the world in the coming 5G era, as U.S. companies did in 4G,” T-Mobile said in a statement as part of the announcement. “The new company will be able to light up a broad and deep 5G network faster than either company could separately. T-Mobile deployed nationwide LTE twice as fast as Verizon and three times faster than AT&T, and the combined company is positioned to do the same in 5G with deep spectrum assets and network capacity.”
Both companies appeared to be finalizing the deal on Friday, when they set valuation terms and were preparing to announce the merger today. The deal values Sprint at an enterprise value of around $59 billion, with the combined company having an enterprise value of $146 billion. AT&T has a market cap of around $214 billion, while Verizon has a market cap of around $213 billion, as of Sunday.

I’m excited to announce that @TMobile & @Sprinthave reached an agreement to come together to form a new company – a larger, stronger competitor that will be a force for positive change for all US consumers and businesses! Watch this & click through for details.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) April 29, 2018

The transaction, the companies said, is of course subject to regulatory approval. But, pending approval, it is expected to close “no later than the first half of 2019.”
Disclosure: Verizon is the parent company of Oath, which owns TechCrunch.

T-Mobile and Sprint have finally announced a merger agreement

Huawei’s Richard Yu is really pissed at US carriers

 It was the 800-lb. gorilla for the duration of today’s Huawei CES keynote — will he, or won’t he? Richard Yu managed to keep his cool for the majority of the event. If I was a betting man, I’d have put money on the executive not pushing the matter — these things are seldom discussed in the context of an event like this. But as the keynote closed, things took a… Read More

Huawei’s Richard Yu is really pissed at US carriers

Apple Pay Cash starts rolling out to iPhone users in the US

 Apple Pay Cash is finally starting to roll out to users in the States, bringing the ability to send other iOS users payments directly through iMessage. The update is arriving piece by piece to those who’ve downloaded iOS 11.2, which launched two days back with a not-yet-live version of the feature. Apple Pay Cash was announced back in June at WWDC. However, the company added ahead of… Read More

Apple Pay Cash starts rolling out to iPhone users in the US

Instagram Stories launches cross-posting to Facebook Stories

 Facebook Stories might not be a ghost town for long. After testing in Portugal last month, TechCrunch spotted the option to syndicate your Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories appearing to US users. Now Facebook confirms this feature is officially rolling out, and everyone should have it soon if not already. The only exception is businesses, since they’re not allowed on Facebook… Read More

Instagram Stories launches cross-posting to Facebook Stories

Ofo comes to the US, joining the bike-share fray in Seattle

 Seattle seems like an unlikely venue for a duel between bike-sharing companies: it’s rainy, hilly, its residents can’t drive and another bike-share program recently went belly-up publicly and ignominiously. But Ofo, one of several Chinese giants in the space, is the third company to launch in the city in a month. It’s the company’s first foray in the States. Read More

Ofo comes to the US, joining the bike-share fray in Seattle