Following the official announcement of a reverse takeover between T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, Sprint reportedly started setting up a counter offer to buy the company and break up the deal. Reports now indicate that Sprint may have thought better of this, and is considering waiting for more information before making a decision on the deal.
Although the agreement between Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile USA's parent company) and MetroPCS for the takeover is official, it could take up to three months before MetroPCS investors will take a vote (because it is a public company) to approve it. During this time, more information on the bidding process and agreement should be released, giving Sprint a better look at the situation before putting in an offer.
In the meantime, MetroPCS' stock will be trading as a proxy for the new combined carrier, possibly affecting the final pricing of Sprint's eventual offer. Also throwing a wrench into things, if MetroPCS decides to back out of the deal with Deutsche Telekom, they must pay a $150 million "breakup fee". Surely Sprint would have to include that cost in their offer.
It's clear that Sprint sees the importance of this deal, realizing that T-Mobile and MetroPCS combining could be another strike against them getting out of third place and challenging Verizon and AT&T. Sprint vehemently opposed the AT&T / T-mobile merger from a regulatory and competition standpoint, but won't have such luck on this one given the size of MetroPCS compared to AT&T (Metro being about 1/10 the size). Their only chance to stop this takeover will have to come in the form of a very large counter offer.
This one is far from over, folks. Be sure to stick with us for our continued coverage of the merger.