U.S. telecom regulators divided on Sprint, T-Mobile deal -WSJ

Wed May 14, 2014 9:25pm EDT

May 14 (Reuters) - Democratic members of the Federal Communications Commission may be divided over how they view the possible Sprint Corp merger with T-Mobile US Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has acknowledged that Sprint and T-Mobile may not remain viable as independent companies in meetings with people on Wall Street and in the telecom industry, the people said. (r.reuters.com/bev39v)

Though Rosenworcel's sentiment about the future of the companies may indicate a schism with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, her comments may not necessarily translate into willingness to vote in favor of the deal, if a merger is proposed.

Sprint's parent, SoftBank Corp, has been waging a campaign to promote consolidation in the U.S. wireless sector while seeking to buy T-Mobile. Investors are closely watching for a possible merger, and how it might affect the two larger carriers, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc.

Both Wheeler and U.S. Justice Department antitrust chief William Baer have been skeptical about the potential merger between the No. 3 wireless provider and No. 4 rival T-Mobile. (Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore and Alina Selyukh in Washington)

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