May 30, 2019
By Angela Moon, Sheila Dang and Diane Bartz
(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc is interested in buying prepaid cellphone wireless service Boost Mobile from U.S. carriers T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Amazon is considering buying Boost mainly for an attached wholesale deal that would allow the buyer to use T-Mobile’s wireless network for at least six years, one of the sources said. Amazon would also be interested in any wireless spectrum that could be divested, the source said.
Amazon declined to comment. T-Mobile and Sprint did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
It was not immediately clear why the U.S. online retail giant and cloud services provider would want the wireless network and spectrum.
T-Mobile and Sprint have offered concessions, including selling Boost, to reduce their market share in the prepaid wireless business and gain regulatory approval for their planned $26 billion merger.
The U.S. Justice Department would need to scrutinize the buyer of a divested asset to ensure it will stay viable and preserve competition.
The carriers are also considering divesting wireless spectrum, or airwaves that carry data, in order to push the merger through.
(Reporting by Angela Moon and Sheila Dang in New York and Diane Bartz in Washington; editing by Kenneth Li and Rosalba O’Brien)