Gather your grains of salt, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint is considering making a buyout offer for T-Mobile come the first half of 2014, to the tune of $20 billion. While that probably sounds good on paper, it's not nearly as much AT&T offered back in 2011, at a whopping $39 billion - making Sprint's bid half of what AT&T thought T-Mobile was worth 2 years ago.


But don't write this off as fantasy just yet, as even John Legere, the Un-CEO, is on the record as saying he's open to deals, including with Sprint.

It's important to remember that for all the fanfare T-Mobile gets, it's a tiny carrier in comparison to behemoths like AT&T and Verizon. Sprint and T-Mobile combined would make up a subscribership just under 100 million customers, still under the number AT&T has currently, at 109 million.

And that's the reason for the interest in a deal, supposedly: Sprint is fed-up playing bush league in the wireless business, and apparently thinks adding T-Mobile's infrastructure and subscriber base to its own could create a serious 3rd option to AT&T and Verizon, both of whom have not only more customers, but much more powerful, widespread networks.

How likely would a Sprint-Tmo deal be once regulatory hurdles are considered? It's hard to say, but if Sprint can make a compelling case for stagnation in the wireless business, who knows - the FCC and DoJ may just go for it. Granted, this is all just a rumor, albeit one from a pretty reliable source.

Wall Street Journal