The year's least secret M&A negotiations have apparently hit a snag. News reports overnight suggest that Sprint may be about to abandon its attempts to merge with T-Mobile US.
Apparently, the likely need for Softbank to give up its controlling stake is leading to a severe case of cold feet. At least, that's the current unofficial word. On the other hand, it's just as likely that the company is just digging in its heels as a part of the ongoing negotiation process, on the theory that if you didn't threaten to walk then you didn't get the best deal you could have.
If talks do indeed break off, we can look forward to a resurgence of some of the alternative merger ideas for both companies, including some of the more fanciful ones. The possibility of a Sprint/Charter combination, for instance, is already being referenced. And if CenturyLink/Level 3 ever gets completed, I figure it won't be long before adding a wireless angle enters that picture as well.
But the more likely scenario is that if talks break off, then they just reboot the process after the holiday season and we can do it all again next year.