Sprint in talks with Charter, Comcast on wireless deal

The logo of U.S. mobile network operator Sprint Corp is seen at a Sprint store in San Marcos California

The logo of U.S. mobile network operator Sprint Corp is seen at a Sprint store in San Marcos California

Comcast has already unveiled plans for a wireless service, using its Wi-Fi hotspots and the airwaves of Verizon Communications Inc VZ.N , the largest USA telecommunications provider, based on a deal between the two that dates back to 2011.

John Malone, whose Liberty Broadband Corp.is Charter's largest investor, has been trying to convince Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts for the past year that the companies should jointly buy a carrier like Sprint, according to people familiar with the matter.

DIALING A DEAL: Sprint climbed 5.8 percent following a published report suggesting the mobile phone company is in talks with Charter Communications and Comcast Corp. on a deal that could enable the cable operators to buy a stake in Sprint. Due to the ongoing talks with Comcast and Charter, Sprint has put the merger talks with T-Mobile US Inc on hold, the report states.

The current agreement the two cable companies have with Verizon restricts each to their own footprint, while a new deal involving Sprint might allow them to offer national service, say industry analysts.

Comcast and Charter have reportedly started negotiating with Sprint, as the two biggest cable companies in the United States explore the possibility of buying the wireless carrier or investing in its network.

Sturgeon defers independence referendum until after Brexit
Sky News' Scotland Correspondent James Matthews says Ms Sturgeon's new stance reflects the lack of support on the issue. She still believes that the Scottish people should get a say on independence before the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

Comcast and Charter announced a wireless partnership in May in a bid to offset customer attrition as younger viewers shun high-priced subscriptions in favour of cheaper online options. Short of an outright acquisition, it's believed that the outcome would not prevent a T-Mobile - Sprint merger at some point in the future. The approval of the negotiation is likely to boost the two US cable companies' wireless offerings.

A deal with T-Mobile would probably mean shutting down one of the two companies' wireless networks. As recently as last week, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure publicly spoke about the benefits of a T-Mobile merger. Sprint needs capital to help it deploy infrastructure, and the cable companies need new ways to reach the so-called "cord cutters" who are discontinuing cable service in favor of wired and wireless internet service.

Hoettges declined to give any comment about possible consolidation in the United States, saying only that the market remained more attractive than Europe.

"Sprint isn't as desperate as many thought, and T-Mobile didn't have the leverage that most seemed to assume", analyst Jonathan Chaplin of New Street Research said in a note to clients Tuesday.

Latest News