Claure: Sprint is a 'formidable partner' in any merger
Sprint Corp. CEO Marcelo Claure addressed merger rumors regarding T-Mobile US Inc. during a Thursday evening telecommunications conference.
Although details were sparse, Claure said new technologies for leveraging and deploying wireless spectrum could make the Overland Park-based carrier (NYSE: S) a ?formidable partner to potentially merge with another carrier? or cable company, for that matter.
The November election refueled rumors of a potential Sprint-T-Mobile merger; both companies? stock also shot up after SoftBank Group Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son met with President-elect Donald Trump in December.
Son previously had expressed interest in merging the two carriers, but the deal encountered substantial regulatory hurdles at the time. SoftBank owns 80 percent of Sprint.
?I guess people will always look at the potential to create that third carrier,? Claure said. ?The new administration, I have no idea how they?re going to look at it.?
On a side note, Claure added that it would be interesting to see what happens with the proposed merger between AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc.
With the Federal Communications Commission?s current lowband spectrum auction, Sprint can?t enter negotiations with any of the participants, including T-Mobile.
?We?re not speaking to anyone else,? Claure said. ?At this point in time, we?re going to see what happens until the spectrum auction finishes, and then we?ll see the different levels of interest, which I assume there will be plenty.?
The goal of Sprint?s five-year-plan, and the company?s current focus, is to make Sprint a ?very good company, a self-sufficient stand-alone company,? Claure added.