×

Sprint CEO: We'll be a 'formidable competitor' to AT&T if government allows T-Mobile deal

  • "We have looked at every other alternative to make sure we are making the right decision," Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure tells CNBC.
  • On Tuesday, German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent, was prepping documents for a potential merger with Sprint.

A combined T-Mobile-Sprint could pose a "powerful" threat to telecom giant AT&T, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure told CNBC on Thursday.

"We have looked at every other alternative to make sure we are making the right decision," Claure said on "Halftime Report." "If the government works to allow us to combine, we'll be No. 3, but we'll be a formidable competitor and we'll continue to disrupt the industry."

The Sprint chief spoke after a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump and other tech leaders to discuss the potential impact of emerging technologies on U.S. industrial workers, among other topics.

Representatives from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile were also at the meeting, Claure said.

On Tuesday, German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent, was prepping documents for a potential merger with Sprint. T-Mobile declined to comment but sources said the company is sounding out if there are any government objections to a deal, the newspaper reported.

T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

Wall Street has frequently speculated about a possible merger of the two companies.

On the regulatory issues of such a deal, Claure said with more companies in the telecom market, like Comcast and Google, it is less likely to raise an eyebrow from the government. "You're talking seven or eight formidable competitors today," he said.

More importantly, "we're going to need to make some serious investments in order to bring 5G to the United States," he added. "And that's going to require to the tune of $40 to $50 billion of investments."

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.