The $26 billion Sprint and T-Mobile merger has been through a regulatory rollercoaster in the past several months. The pair had thought they could push through the transaction while preserving all of their spectrum and wireless service brands — but even with favorable political conditions, this didn't prove to be the case. This past week, we learned that the two have promised the FCC that they would sell prepaid carrier Boost Mobile and that the Department of Justice would require the two to divest enough spectrum to create a tenable "fourth carrier" replacement. Now, according to Reuters, Amazon has come into the dealer's circle with its offers.
Two sources have told the agency that Amazon is especially interested in Boost because the sale would also include an MVNO wholesale agreement with the new T-Mobile network. The online retailer has been packing in services to its Prime subscription package and has existing partnerships with smartphone OEMs to offer discounts on their devices, so there are some natural synergies on that front, though the potential outcomes here are wide as the sky.
Speaking of the sky, one source also said that Amazon has also expressed interest in buying divested spectrum from Sprint and T-Mobile. The company recently announced Project Kuiper, a broadband internet distribution strategy that requires the launch of more than 3,000 satellites into Low Earth orbit. Beyond that, we don't have much of an idea of exactly where terrestrial airwaves would fit into that picture, but with a company as massive as Amazon, we're pretty sure there's business to be had.
The company could be one of a number of potential bidders for merging carriers' properties — market watchers have talked about Charter, Comcast, and Dish as the big fishes in the pond — but it should be noted that the DoJ would have to approve any potential divestiture deals on the basis of protecting competition.