Sprint Is Still in Talks With Cable Duo While Exclusivity Ends

  • Comcast, Charter mulling reseller deal, Sprint investment
  • Two-month exclusive negotiation period ended Thursday
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Sprint Corp. is still discussing a mobile partnership and potential equity investment with Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc., even as its exclusive negotiating period has ended, according to people familiar with the matter.

The two-month window ended Thursday, opening the door for Sprint to resume discussions with T-Mobile US Inc. or other partners, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The cable companies are interested in a reselling deal that would let them offer Sprint’s wireless service under their own brands. Sprint is expected to offer more favorable terms than the cable companies’ agreement with Verizon Communications Inc., said two of the people. 

That agreement could come with an equity investment in Sprint from both companies, the people said.

Comcast and Charter are considering investing in Sprint’s mobile network to improve its quality. The cable companies could add unlimited wireless-data service to its bundle using Sprint’s network under the reselling agreement, so they want to ensure the quality of Sprint’s service stays high, the people said. No deal is assured, they said. Sprint is due to announce its quarterly earnings on Aug. 1.

Any deal with the cable companies wouldn’t preclude Sprint from pursuing a potential merger with T-Mobile, the people said, an option executives from both companies have lauded as offering substantial synergies.

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