Sprint and T-Mobile wanted it to happen badly back in 2014.
They hoped for the same result within 2017.
Analysts from the business world have discussed in detail over recent months the mutual aspirations of top-rung executives and major shareholders from those two wireless carriers to team up via a merger. A new combination was expected to present larger carriers Verizon and AT&T with beefed-up competition.
Apparently, and now for the second time, it's not going to happen. Notwithstanding the clear need of both companies to band together rather than go it alone in a cutthroat marketplace, material business concerns are preventing the merger.
Reportedly, the concerns have resided mostly with SoftBank, the Tokyo-based entity that owns Sprint. Reports indicate that, while company founder and chairman Masayoshi Son has long pushed hard for an alliance, revised and recently delivered merger terms from T-Mobile were viewed as a flat-out deal breaker.
Control issues were stated to be a core contention for Sprint. Although that company was the more robust potential partner back in 2014, the two carriers' fortunes have reversed since then. Reportedly, T-Mobile's late revision demands called for a better reflection of that reality, with the German carrier wanting to be the dominant shareholder.
SoftBank balked at that.
Now, notes a recent New York Times article, the two companies are back at the proverbial square one, which is exactly where industry commentators say they can't afford -- in the most literal sense -- to be.
If they continue to individually compete with their larger and more well-heeled rivals, say insiders, they will both almost certainly suffer a progressive slide in market share.
It could just be the case that the companies renew merger talks yet again in the future. In the narrow niche industry of wireless communication, there simply aren't a lot of other suitors to potentially link up with.