AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.
U.S. carrier Sprint is said to be looking into the purchase of rival provider T-Mobile USA, which, if successful, would leave the nation dominated by only three major telecoms.
According to people familiar with the matter, the nation's third-largest wireless carrier is looking to put in a bid for fourth-largest T-Mobile, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The sources further claim Sprint is in the early stages of examining regulatory hurdles to the purported buy as it looks toward launching a bid in the first half of 2014. Depending on the stake Sprint attempts to buy, the deal could run upwards of $20 billion.
Looking at revenue for the nine months ending in September, a Sprint/T-Mobile consolidation could create a strong competitor to now-dominant Verizon and AT&T. As seen above, combined revenues for the third- and fourth-place telcos amounted to $35.8 billion over the nine-month period, compared to AT&T's roughly $45 billion and more than $51 billion for Verizon.
The success of Sprint's rumored takeover is already on shaky ground, however, as AT&T is still licking its wounds from a failed merger attempt just two years ago.
Reportedly behind the T-Mobile takeover is Masayoshi Son, chief executive of Japan's SoftBank, which in July officially closed out a deal for controlling interest in Sprint. Son is known as an aggressive businessman and has expanded his communications technology empire through a series of acquisitions and takeovers.
The Journal further reports that Deutsche Telekom, current majority owners of T-Mobile USA, is mulling an exit from the U.S. market.
In all, a Sprint-T-Mobile fusion would bring together 53 million post-paid subscribers, compared to AT&T's 72 million and Verizon's 95 million.