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Sprint Strikes Out As Charter Declares 'No Interest' In Merger, Reveals Its Own Wireless Plans

Sprint spent the weekend proposing a merger with Charter Communications, which declined the offer and announced its own wireless plans for its cable customers next year via an agreement with rival wireless provider Verizon.

Wireless carrier Sprint, which has been publicly on the lookout for merger partners since April, can't seem to find any takers.

Sprint on Friday proposed a full merger with cable giant Charter Communications that would create a media and communications giant. The tie-up would have gone a step further than typical Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) deals, which allow telecom and cable providers to resell wireless services from another carrier. Sprint majority-owner SoftBank Group was seeking control over the newly-combined company.

Charter on Sunday night declined SoftBank's offer.

[Related: Reports: Sprint, T-Mobile 'Finalizing' Merger Plans, T-Mobile Delays Employee Raises]

"We understand why a deal is attractive for SoftBank, but Charter has no interest in acquiring Sprint," a spokesperson for Charter said in an email to Bloomberg.

The Stamford, Conn.-based cable company already has a MVNO relationship with wireless competitor Verizon, which allows Charter to use the Verizon network to offer wireless services. Charter intends to put its MVNO agreement to work by launching a wireless service for its cable customers next year, according to the spokesperson.

The proposal comes on the heels of a seemingly unsuccessful string of attempts by SoftBank's Sprint to merge with other players in the market. Sprint reportedly tried to enter into a wireless partnership with both Philadelphia-based cable provider Comcast and Charter in June. Earlier this month, however, Comcast's chairman and CEO Brian Roberts shut down any merger speculation during his company's Q2 earnings call. Like Charter, Comcast is also satisfied with its MVNO agreement with Verizon for its wireless offering and isn't looking to scoop up any wireless provider.

"We really feel that we aren't missing anything," Roberts said during the call.

Had Charter been interested in a tie-up with Sprint however, the cable company would have needed to secure permission from Comcast. The two cable providers entered into an agreement in May that blocks either company from entering into a material transaction in wireless for a year without the other's consent.

Sprint was also rumored earlier in June to have resurrected merger talks with wireless competitor T-Mobile. SoftBank's CEO Masayoshi Son said in May that its top merger choice was with Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile. A report issued by Reuters in February said that SoftBank Group was willing to hand over control of Sprint to T-Mobile's German parent company Deutsche Telekom if it would help to seal a merger deal.

In 2014, SoftBank attempted to merge with T-Mobile but ended the pursuit because of opposition from U.S. antitrust regulators.

Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, is scheduled to report its Q2 2017 earnings on Tuesday.

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