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T-Mobile said Saturday it has ended merger talks with Sprint after being unable to come to a satisfactory deal.

"The prospect of combining with Sprint has been compelling for a variety of reasons, including the potential to create significant benefits for consumers and value for shareholders, T-Mobile US CEO John Legere said in a statement. “However, we have been clear all along that a deal with anyone will have to result in superior long-term value for T-Mobile's shareholders compared to our outstanding stand-alone performance."

"While we couldn't reach an agreement to combine our companies, we certainly recognize the benefits of scale through a potential combination," Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in a statement. "However, we have agreed that it is best to move forward on our own. We know we have significant assets, including our rich spectrum holdings, and are accelerating significant investments in our network to ensure our continued growth."

Why it matters: The No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers had been widely expected to combine in an effort to better compete against far larger AT&T and Verizon.

The two companies have been holding talks on and off for years, having scrapped an earlier deal after it became clear under President Obama that the FCC would not approve any combination of the two. Current FCC Chair Ajit Pai has been non-committal but the Trump Administration has been seen as more open to big deals generally.

A key sticking point this time appears to have been control over the combined company. SoftBank owns a majority stake in Sprint, while Deutsche Telekom has a controlling interest in T-Mobile US.

The move could pave the way for each to seek other deals, possibly a combination with a cable company or another global telecom company. And, despite Saturday's pronouncement, it's also possible the two will reignite talks at some point.

Go deeper

Biden to stress U.S. does not seek new Cold War in UN speech

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden will use his first address before the UN General Assembly to lay out his vision for an era of "intensive diplomacy" with allies and "vigorous competition" with great powers — without a Cold War with China.

Why it matters: Biden will take the podium in New York on Tuesday with his own international credibility in question after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. His administration also is struggling to build international momentum to fight climate change, the pandemic and rising authoritarianism.

4 hours ago - Health

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as President Biden seeks commitments from countries to donate vaccines to the global COVAX initiative. He is expected to host a COVID summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and many of the countries attending have expressed frustration with the travel ban.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Gen Z breaks into VC

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When Meagan Loyst joined VC firm Lerer Hippeau, less than two years out of Boston College, she was still living with her parents. She had virtually no online brand presence, and the pandemic made it impossible to build a professional network via in-person meetings.

Why it matters: Loyst wasn't alone. Venture firms have accelerated hiring in line with record deal activity, often seeking younger investors who can spot trends that fly below the radar (or intrinsic understanding) of older partners.

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