updated 09:25 pm EDT, Sun March 20, 2011
Sprint surprised a T-Mobile and ATT deal
Sprint had assumed it would be the one to buy T-Mobile and was taken completely off guard by AT&T's offer, leaks gave away Sunday. The carrier was purportedly unaware of any concurrent deals and had been making all efforts to guarantee the deal. It was "desperate" to land a deal and get a larger power base, TechCrunch was told.
T-Mobile may also have been caught unprepared. USA head Philipp Humm in a letter to employees cast it as 'shocking' and had to reassure staff that the deal was in their best interest.
Most leaks had so far presumed that Sprint had been in intensive negotiations with T-Mobile and that the two had mutual incentives to unite. Although their networks are different, they would have created a carrier large enough to rival AT&T and Verizon. Regulators would have been more willing to approve such a deal since it would be less prone to trigger fears of anti-competitive practices.