UPDATE 5/12: According to Bloomberg, it looks like the merger is on. Anonymous sources claim discussions have already begun about consolidation. Looks like there might be a new 5G powerhouse after all.
In case you haven't been following the news, the 5G war is so on. AT&T was first, releasing "5G Evolution," which turned out to be fake 5G. For shame! T-Mobile then announced their intentions to release a real 5G network in the coming years, with Sprint following suit only a week later. Then, just when AT&T could at least acquire 5G network technology, Verizon swiped it away. I never thought I'd be saying this — as a disgruntled AT&T customer — but I feel a little sorry for them.
It looked like AT&T had the win, according to the Wall Street Journal. The carrier struck a deal with Straight Path, a small company with big promise. Straight Path is in possession of highly-desired spectrum radio waves. Waves experts believe are ripe for producing 5G connections. AT&T had agreed to purchase Straight Path, with all of their fancy spectrum waves, for $1.6 billion. Not bad for a company worth $400 million only one month before the deal was set to close, huh?
But, as with most stories in the tech world, reality came a-knocking. An undisclosed bidder (although it was most definitely Verizon) started a bidding war with AT&T over the past month. It wasn't until Verizon's $3.1 billion bid that AT&T threw in the towel. Now, Verizon holds every piece of 5G potential that AT&T was so sure they had, and all AT&T gets in return is a termination fee of $38 million. You can just hear Verizon leaving the room saying:
Things could get worse for AT&T from here. We discussed yesterday how, if Sprint and T-Mobile go ahead with a long-rumored merger, they would together have the potential to create a sizeable 5G network. Couple that with Verizon's presumed plans, and you'll have AT&T showing up to a 5G fight packing 4G LTE and not much else.
Oh, I'm sorry, 5G Evolution. Let's see how that works out for them ...