May 19, 2017 9:58 am JST

T-Mobile sees benefits in merger with Sprint: CFO

© AP

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- T-Mobile US Inc would benefit from greater scale in the industry if it were to combine with rival Sprint Corp , the chief financial officer of the No. 3 wireless carrier said at a conference on Thursday.

"There is a huge prize when you talk about Sprint, and that's true hard synergies," said Braxton Carter, T-Mobile's chief financial officer, citing more than $30 billion in estimated synergies over time between the companies.

Sprint shares rose 7.5 percent to close at $7.89 while T-Mobile closed up 2.8 percent.

"It's not a question of will talks happen," Carter said. "Of course, they're going to happen as it's been very, very widely reported in the press."

Reuters reported in February that Sprint's controlling shareholder, SoftBank Group Corp, was positioning itself for deal talks with T-Mobile's top shareholder, Deutsche Telekom AG, once a U.S. government auction of wireless airwaves ended.

Carter also did not rule out a possible combination with cable companies Comcast Corp and Charter Communications Inc.

"What about Sprint, T-Mobile and a coalition of Comcast and Charter and the value creation that could come out of that?" Carter said.

He added that "from a shareholder standpoint, that could be very, very exciting."

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