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Kim Hart Jan 6, 2017
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T-Mobile CEO breathes life into Sprint merger rumors

John Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile, gave the first public acknowledgment on Thursday that his company could merge with Sprint. They're the #3 and #4 wireless companies in the U.S.

He told the Verge: "So in the future structure of the industry, there are a number of people who think, well, it may make sense from a scale standpoint to consider the coming together of T-Mobile and Sprint."

The backstory: Softbank, the Japanese owner of Sprint, has been looking for a way to join forces with T-Mobile for some time. When the idea was floated in 2014, Obama-era antitrust regulators signaled they were dead-set against reducing the number of national wireless carriers.

Why now: The renewed rumors stem from speculation that Trump's administration is more open to the marriage. Softbank has already curried favor with Trump by promising to bring 5,000 jobs back to the U.S. from overseas, which a Wall Street analysts saw as a sign that the company was greasing the wheels for a merger review.