Since then, Masayoshi Son, the founder and CEO of Tokyo-based telecom and Internet company Softbank, which controls Sprint, has tried to make a deal to improve the carrier's position — and eyed T-Mobile, as well as Charter Communications.
Mobile users have benefited from the price wars stoked by T-Mobile and Sprint, especially the spread of "unlimited" data plans, as well as other goodies competition has thrust their way.
A union is attractive because of the scale and potential for cost-cutting a combination would bring, allowing the bigger company to increase investments in areas like 5G, thus gaining an edge on the larger wireless carriers.
And the companies could save as much as $4 billion annually, wrote Craig Moffett, partner and senior analyst at research firm MoffettNathanson in an investor note last month.
Where the Obama Administration and then-FCC chairman Wheeler shied away from losing a major player in the market, officials under Trump could view competition differently.
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