Sprint, T-Mobile Shares on the Rise as Merger Talks Heat Up

Analysts aren't convinced that Sprint will be able to clear the regulatory hurdles required to acquire T-Mobile, especially after AT&T already tried before falling flat on its face. Despite the skepticism, investors are apparently optimistic a deal will get done -- share prices of both wireless carriers shot up more than 30 percent since news of a possible merger was first reported.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, which first broke the story, Sprint and T-Mobile flirted with the idea of a merger two years ago. Those talks ultimately stalled once Sprint decided it would be too costly to acquire T-Mobile. Had the deal happened, Sprint would have had to figure out a way to combine the two network technologies that each are using.


Once the deal died, AT&T became the front runner to acquire T-Mobile, only to be blocked by regulators who had concerns about the pairing forming a monopoly. AT&T was willing to pay $39 billion for T-Mobile and was so confident it would get a deal done, it promised to pay T-Mobile $3 billion if the acquisition didn't go through -- oops!

WSJ says Sprint is a more financially stable company these days and could afford to merge with T-Mobile, which would pair the nation's No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers, respectively. It also helps that both carriers are currently upgrading their networks to 4G LTE technology.