(BLOOMBERG) -- T-Mobile US Inc. agreed to acquire Sprint Corp. for $26.5 billion in stock, a wager that the carriers can team up to build a next-generation wireless network and get a jump on industry leaders Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc.
The deal follows years of will-they-won’t-they deliberations between Deutsche Telekom AG, the German company that controls T-Mobile, and SoftBank Group Corp., the Japanese owner of Sprint, and comes about five months after an earlier merger attempt collapsed. The combination reduces the wireless industry to three major competitors from four, ensuring heavy scrutiny from regulators.
“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,” John Legere, the T-Mobile boss who will serve as chief executive officer of the combined entity, said in the statement announcing the deal Sunday. The changes will come faster than either company could do on its own, he said.
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