SPRINT DEAL

Did Someone Say Schadenfreude?

A woman talks on her phone as she walks past T-mobile and Sprint wireless stores in New York in this file photo
Deutsche Telekom still wants a piece of Sprint. Picture source: Reuters

When giant US cable television firm Charter Communications announced that it was not interested in pursuing a merger with Sprint, the number 4 ranked US mobile phone supplier, officials at Deutsche Telekom in Germany sat up and smiled.

The German firm, which owns carrier T-Mobile in the United States, has been holding merger talks with Sprint off and on for months, but the talks collapsed. That prompted Sprint’s corporate parent, Japan’s Softbank, to discuss a merger with Charter. Now that the Charter-Sprint deal is off, might those T-Mobile-Sprint talks now resume?

It’s all part of a poker game of bluff and raises taking place in the US telecommunications industry, which has included Verizon’s eye-popping €72 billion ($85 billion) acquisition of movie and cable firm Time Warner.

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