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Hot Couple Alert: Sprint & T-Mobile Reportedly Looking At Engagement Rings

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The will-they-won’t-they tension has always been high between romantic comedy leads T-Mobile and Sprint, but could their flirtatious ways finally be heading for a serious relationship? That certainly looks to be the next plot twist, as the companies are reportedly in “active talks” about a merger.

Sprint’s parent company, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank, has been looking to grow its U.S. presence ever since investing in Sprint, and T-Mobile’s European overlords at Deutsche Telekom have been trying to marry off their bratty magenta-loving offspring to nice, wealthy American company for years.

Now, CNBC reports that SoftBank and DT have once again entered into talks about a possible deal combining the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless providers.

The sources caution, as they often do, that no deal is certain, and that any possible finalized plan wouldn’t come to fruition for several more weeks. The current talks, the insiders tells CNBC, concern creating a term sheet that would dictate the possible deal.

Just what a combined T-Mobile/Sprint company would look like is up for speculation.

CNBC theorizes that SoftBank would likely take a minority stake in any marriage, while T-Mobile John Legere would probably position himself as the new venture’s head honcho.

Of course, the real question we’re all wondering is, would the new company have a cool celebrity tabloid mashup name? Perhaps SprinT-Mobile, or T-Mobrint?

Heard It Before

Getting a sense of déjà vu? That’s probably because Sprint and T-Mobile have long been the center of merger speculation.

Rumors of a thawing romance between the companies ramped up in May, when SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said he still intended to pursue a merger, and that T-Mobile USA is the most likely target.

A week later T-Mobile executives declared that the companies would likely make a good pair… financially. Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter explained at a conference that it would be cheaper for them to invest in deploying a 5G network in the future together.

Additionally, with a combined force, the wireless providers could better compete with Verizon Wireless and AT&T, though even a merged Sprint/T-Mobile would likely still be smaller than either of those two companies.

Despite the recent talks and speculation, we’ve been down this road before, and it’s only led to broken hearts.

In Aug. 2014, Sprint’s board pulled the plug on its decision to pursue T-Mobile after early talks with regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice confirmed that approving such a merger would be politely described as an uphill battle.

And T-Mobile is no stranger to being left at the altar. In 2011, AT&T tried to sweep little ol’ T-Mo off its feet, but the wedding was doomed when federal regulators refused to give their blessing to the marriage. At least T-Mobile got a few billion dollars in cash and wireless spectrum from AT&T for its troubles.





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Bobby "The Brain" Heenan Gave Wrestling Everything It Needed

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The Bobby Heenan that most of you are familiar with is the ‘80s WWF version. Naturally, in the immediate aftermath of his death, much of the reminiscing about his career focused on the funniest moments.

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Toys ‘R’ Us Expected To File For Bankruptcy This Week

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Do you have a Toys ‘R’ Us or Babies ‘R’ Us gift card sitting around? It might be time to use that up,just in case: The toys and kids chain is expected to file for bankruptcy basically any day now.

The rumor mill , via CNBC (warning: auto-play video at that link), says that a bankruptcy filing could come as early as this week, to reassure toy suppliers that the company won’t be buried in debt for the holiday season.

It’s all about Christmas

Last week, Bloomberg News reported that suppliers had cut back on shipments to Toys ‘R’ Us at the most important time of year. The chain is even more dependent than the rest of the retail industry on the holiday season because, for any precocious children reading this article, Santa shops there.

The company didn’t do well during the 2016 holiday season. A repeat of that performance is a scary thought, since the chain normally takes in 40% of its earnings during the last 25% of the year.

Toys ‘R’ Us is owned by two private equity firms and a real estate company, and it has $400 million in debt coming due in 2018. Filing for bankruptcy or finding another way to organize that debt would be a good way to show suppliers that everything is under control, and that they can keep on shipping toys through the holiday season and beyond.

Gift cards: Use ’em up now

The reason why we urge readers to use their gift cards up when a retailer may file for bankruptcy soon is that a Chapter 11 filing often voids the company’s past gift cards. That’s bad when a chain shutters all of its stores and there aren’t any stores left where you can spend the cards, but it’s especially annoying for consumers when the store stays in business, yet you can’t use the card there since a new owner purchased the retailer out of bankruptcy.

The first bankruptcy of RadioShack in 2015 changed how some retailers deal with gift cards after a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Attorney General of the company’s home state, Texas, was outraged that a company could reorganize and void millions of dollars’ worth of gift cards. He arranged a settlement where gift card holders would be paid first, before the company’s creditors, with the remaining balance of gift card funds going to the offices of states’ attorneys general.

Since then, there’s been a trend to keep on accepting gift cards. Payless ShoeSource filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to unmanageable debt, just like Toys ‘R’ Us, but still accepts pre-bankruptcy gift cards. While forcing a retailer to pay out millions of dollars in cash refunds to gift card holders is a pro-consumer move, it’s easier for a retailer to just keep accepting its old cards rather than risk being forced into a settlement like RadioShack’s.





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Host the Best (And Easiest) Cookouts With This $154 Electric Smoker

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This $154 Masterbuilt electric smoker (with code WAREHOUSE30) makes cooking jerky, brisket, or (insert meat of your choice) as easy as dropping in some wood chips and hitting a few buttons.

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