Sprint’s merger thoughts shift from ‘not in the cards’ to ‘may be necessary’

A year ago, Sprint’s finance chief Tarek Robbiati declared that a T-Mobile merger was “not in the cards.” On Tuesday, he acknowledged the company is thinking that pairing up “may be necessary to compete.”

His comments Tuesday came as Sprint released its financial results and customer counts from the final months of 2016.

“From a policy perspective, it would seem to make sense that, over the long term, further consolidation among the smaller players may be necessary to compete with the big two,” Robbiati said during a conference call with analysts.

The smaller players would include Sprint and T-Mobile US, which combined would have nearly as many wireless subscribers as either of the industry leaders: Verizon or AT&T.

Robbiati’s comment stands in contrast to remarks he made to investors in January 2016. He said then that Sprint was too busy fixing its own business to consider a deal with any other business.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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