T-Mobile’s leadership team remains confident about securing regulatory approval for the proposed merger with Sprint within the first half of the year, executives said Thursday during T-Mobile’s fourth quarter earnings call.
“A number of major milestones have been completed and we remain optimistic and confident that once regulators review all the facts they will recognize the significant pro consumer and pro competitive benefits of this combination,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said on the call with investors.
Although T-Mobile continues to push for its more than $26 billion deal with Sprint, stressing the merger will result in $40 billion investment for a nationwide 5G network, the nation’s No. 3 wireless carrier showed in the fourth quarter that it’s still doing just fine on its own. T-Mobile had already pre-released strong subscriber metrics, which included adding 1 million net postpaid phone customers in the period and 0.99 percent churn – a record Q4 low for T-Mobile. T-Mobile ended 2018 with 79.65 million customers in total.
Service revenue for the period was $8.2 billion, up 6 percent year over year, as was total revenue, which climbed to $11.4 billion in the quarter. T-Mobile reported net income of $640 million, down 76 percent from a year ago when profits were bolstered by a one-time gain related to federal corporate tax changes. See more in-depth results here.
Earlier in the week, some analysts suggested the review process might be swinging out of T-Mobile’s favor after the operator made a public commitment that “New T-Mobile” would not raise rate plan prices from where they are currently for three years should the deal be approved. More on that here.
Legere rebuffed the analysts’ assessment of the situation, saying on the call “most of what you see going on are very good indications of a dialogue that’s moving extremely well and I look forward to a time when the full narrative can be public.”
“We’re entering the final stages of our regulatory review process and it’s an important time to document the commitments that we’ve made from day one,” Legere said.
Executives from both Sprint and T-Mobile are slated to testify at two hearings before the U.S. house next week on Feb. 13 and 14, where they will likely face questions about the merger impact on consumers, prices, and competition.
T-Mobile and Sprint already secured approval of the combination from U.S. national security officials in December, but the Department of Justice and FCC have yet to sign off on the deal.