If T-Mobile and Sprint had aligned, they would collectively rise to the number three provider slot in the USA mobile market.
But none of those rumors were confirmed by the companies' chief executives.
"The prospect of combining with Sprint has been compelling for a variety of reasons, including the potential to create significant benefits for consumers and value for shareholders", John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile US said in the statement.
Sprint Corp and T-Mobile USA Inc said on Saturday that they officially broke off merger negotiations, ending months of back-and-forth talks that would have created the third-biggest US wireless provider.
Sprint president and CEO Marcelo Claure said: "While we couldn't reach an agreement to combine our companies, we certainly recognize the benefits of scale through a potential combination". He said Sprint has agreed it is best to move forward on its own with "significant assets, including our rich spectrum holdings, and are accelerating significant investments in our network to ensure our continued growth".
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Sprint and its owner, the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, have always been looking for a deal as the company has struggled to compete on its own. The decision to call off merger talks came after a meeting involving the heads of all four companies, according to The Wall Street Journal. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son personally approached Charter about a merger, and talks at this point are reported to be strictly exploratory and preliminary in nature, but include a number of higher-ups from both companies.
Even if they had arrived at a deal, T-Mobile and Sprint would have faced heavy regulatory scrutiny to complete a merger. Legal experts also said earlier this year that it was hard to predict whether the current administration would be more receptive of a deal.
Sprint "look [s] forward to continuing to take the fight to the duopoly and newly emerging competitors", Claure said.
This isn't the first time Sprint has tried to acquire T-Mobile, and it may not be the last.