After several weeks of talks of a deal, Charter Communications has rejected a possible merger with Sprint, The Wall St. Journal reported Sunday. The merger would have created a new entity controlled by SoftBank, Sprint’s owner.
Charter said that it would stay with existing wireless reseller agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. rather than switch to one with Sprint. However, a person familiar with the matter told the Journal that Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son may still decide to make a formal offer to acquire Charter anyway.
“We understand why a deal is attractive for SoftBank, but Charter has no interest in acquiring Sprint,” Charter spokesman Alex Dudley said in a statement to WSJ. “We have a very good MVNO relationship with Verizon and intend to launch wireless services to cable customers next year.”
Sprint first discussed talks of a merger with Charter and Comcast Corp. in May. One of the possible deals would allow Comcast and Charter to sell wireless services using Sprint’s network.
This news confirms an earlier report by Bloomberg that Charter wasn’t interested in the plan to create a new public company.
A deal would be complicated to structure, and would sent ripples through the cable and wireless industries. If successful, it could have created a TV, broadband, wired and wireless phone juggernaut to rival AT&T which owns DirecTV and is preparing to close its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.