What do you get when two of the four major US wireless carriers merge? Luckily it seems we won't have to find out any time soon, according to a new report.
Yes, the rumored merger between Sprint and T-Mobile is apparently "dead," according to The New York Post.
The publication cited "Washington DC sources familiar with the situation," one of whom said, "I don't see any prospect of it going through…it's dead."
Apparently the Federal Communications Commission, which lately has been focused more on letting ISPs re-write net neutrality than doing its job, may have actually stepped in here to stop the transaction in its tracks.
According to The Post's sources FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler suspects that Sprint planted a story about the merger in The Wall Street Journal the very morning he was scheduled to meet with Sprint executives to discuss it.
Wheeler didn't appreciate what he perceived as Sprint's attempts to pressure him into approving the deal, which would leave the US with one fewer competitor in the wireless carrier market.
In addition another source said Sprint's CEO and CFO walked out of meetings this week before analysts could ask them about the deal.
If they were going to discuss it, these meetings would supposedly have been the time, indicating there's no longer anything to discuss.
Proponents of the deal say it would give Sprint/T-Mobile more buying power to compete with Verizon and AT&T in terms of spectrum acquisition, but critics point out that the FCC is about to start selling government-owned spectrum in 2015 anyway.
Part of the commission's aim will be to enable carriers to expand their reach without having to gobble one another up, The Post says.
Now let's sit back and watch what happens to Sprint and T-Mobile's stocks - which rose 17.5% and 12.6% this week respectively as rumors of the acquisition spread - if this report of their deal's death proves accurate.