Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer optimistic, says Sprint, T-Mobile merger will help state

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Two mobile giants might finally be coming together. Sprint and T-Mobile say to achieve the next step in mobile internet they have to merge.

But is it a good thing, and what does it mean for thousands employed in Overland Park?

The companies have made attempts in the past to join forces, but opposition made it difficult.

Merger expert and University of Missouri Kansas City Associate Professor Nathan Mauck said times change, and so can opportunities. So the third time might be the charm.

Sprint's Overland Park headquarters employs around 6,000 people, which the "New T-Mobile" plans to keep. Mauck said there is give and take.

"I think in the short term, you might see some job loss pain because there’s going to be some obvious duplication. You don’t need two CEOs. You don’t need two CFOs, et cetera," Mauck said.

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer sees the merger as a way to build Kansas' economy.

"I think it is a way of saving jobs in Kansas. It puts the company on a solid foundation, and it moves them forward. I think that’s a good opportunity for us," Gov. Colyer said.

Mauck said before anything happens, the merger has to be approved by the FCC first.

"I think it’s very likely they’re going to face regulatory scrutiny," Mauck said.

In their video, the CEOs seemed to play towards President Trump's "America first" mentality, saying the country needs to be ahead of the rest in mobile internet.

"America being first in 5G, I think pretty clearly is an overture to the administration to hope for their approval, or at least avoid their active opposition," Mauck said.

Either way, both Gov. Colyer and Mauck said this is something the companies need to do.

"Sprint needs something like this to be a stronger, healthier company, and I think it’s at least possible if this combination were really successful. It could be a really good thing for Sprint employees," Mauck said.

"I think this is a good solution for us, and I’m very honored that they were willing to work with the state and work with people and get those jobs right here in Kansas," Governor Colyer said.

In the announcement, the CEOs said this will not only bring jobs to the "New T-Mobile," but it will encourage companies to invest in mobile internet development across the board.