An obscure 2017 telecom deal explains why T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to merge

An obscure wireless industry deal from last year can help explain why T-Mobile and Sprint finally agreed to merge this week after years of flirting with a deal.

Last May, Verizon signed a deal to buy acompany called Straight Path for more than $3 billion. If you remember the deal, it’s probably because AT&T and Verizon battled back and forth for the company in an insane bidding war. After a series of bids and overbids, Verizon ended up paying $184 per share for Straight Path, which had been trading at around $30 per share. The merger was completed this February.