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FCC meeting with SoftBank's Son; T-Mobile merger plans are on the table

Posted: , by Alan F.

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FCC meeting with SoftBank's Son; T-Mobile merger plans are on the table
SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son is planning on meeting with the FCC on Monday, to discuss various matters including SoftBank's desire to buy T-Mobile. A recent discussion with the DOJ didn't go terribly well with that agency giving a cold reception to the idea. The meeting today was the focus of a report in Monday's Wall Street Journal. And while the meeting will discuss a variety of topics, the main discussion will be about Son's plan on merging SoftBank owned Sprint and T-Mobile.

Son is expected to tell the U.S. agency that the large acquisition is required so that someone can challenge the top U.S. carriers. Currently, Verizon and AT&T are numbers one and two and have a fairly wide lead on Sprint and T-Mobile when it comes to the number of subscribers they have. T-Mobile has been making the most noise lately, adding over 4 million subscribers in 2013 on the back of new innovations led by it's feisty CEO John Legere. There are some who believe that U.S. regulators will reject a deal for T-Mobile just to see how far the nation's fourth largest carrier can get on its own with the combination of its UNcarrier innovations under Legere's leadership.

Also attending the FCC meeting will be Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. SoftBank purchased 78% of Sprint last year after a fairly heated battle with Dish Network. Dish also has been rumored as a potential suitor for T-Mobile, although there might not be a room large enough to contain the personalities of Dish Chairman Charles Ergen and T-Mobile's Legere. Ergen wants Dish to become a mobile operator which puts the satellite content provider in the thick of every deal as a wild card player.

While banks have already offered financing to Sprint and SoftBank to get the deal done, one hang up is on the break-up fees. Son has reportedly told investment bankers working on the deal that Sprint cannot afford to make a huge payment to T-Mobile in case the deal is announced, but is never closed. AT&T paid T-Mobile $3 billion and handed over some strategic spectrum after AT&T pulled out of its $39 billion deal to buy its smaller rival back in 2012.

In that deal, AT&T faced unwavering opposition from the FTC which ended up forcing the carrier's hand. So far though, the initial chilly response from the FTC to a possible acquisition of T-Mobile by Sprint has not stopped Son from moving forward with his plan.

source: WSJ

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posted on 03 Feb 2014, 11:50 2

1. techaman (unregistered)


the only way this could be good for us and us as sprint users is t-mobile will go crazy with power and switch everything to them making sprint worth it again. i have had sprint since 2000 and nextel in the middle for a bit nextel being the best. Sprint needs to have this deal to make anything of them self or they will just keep bleeding people out to t-mobile like myself come 3 months from now. they make a good point sprint and t-mobile are to small individually to do any damage to verizon and att but together they will directly compete its like before att became att the merger made the 2nd biggest carrier and thats worked out for them. sprint and t-mobile need to merge but keep john as the head he is crazy and makes things happen, things the normal person want.

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 13:12 1

3. Finalflash (Posts: 1802; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


But combining two smaller ones into bigger ones doesn't make them more competitive, they just join the monopolists as an equal monopolist. They need to break up the larger carriers instead. Look at what is happening in the UK, EE has terribad plans and the combination of the other majors isn't really spurring better deals. Another example is Canada, where Rogers was a monopolist for the longest time and then Bell and Telus came in to much fanfare only to join in the Monopolizing.

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 20:06

10. techaman (unregistered)


but in england and the rest of the world data is cheaper and faster then america, here the price is so high for little to no speed at all.
sprints service is so bad they should be paying customers to not leave i have an average of 1/2 a mb download on lte and 76kbs upload sometimes download is 56k and pops a crash because speed takes 2 min to speedtest. making it combine with tmobile will only make a better service if they only use tmobiles gsm net and get away from the rest or go sprint lte and spark and drop the rest.

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 13:07

2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8665; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I'm all for it as long as JL is still running the show. DH is completely lost and is doing more harm than good to Sprint. I do agree that if the merger goes through, it will rival AT&T but definitely not Verizon in terms of customers and coverage. What it will rival is pricing, and that's where Verizon would be hurt the most.

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 16:09

4. DigitalJedi_X2 (banned) (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jan 2012)


The only way I would be for this deal is: 1- They must keep Legere as head and jettison Hesse. He hasn't really done anything for Sprint. 2- Switch Sprint over to GSM. Its far better than CDMA and the standard world wide. 3- Have T-Mobile swallow Sprint and keep the Tmo name front and center. 4- Have the phones run on both T-Mobile's and Sprints bands for even greater coverage. 5- Keep the pricing low and keep the unlimited data flowing. 6- Keep the UnCarrier changes front and center.

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 16:23

5. Commentator (Posts: 2436; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Switching from CDMA to GSM would cost billions of dollars that I don't think they're too keen on spending. More and more phones are packing GSM + CDMA radios now anyways, so the two merging would just make for better coverage.

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 20:08

11. techaman (unregistered)


or maybe sprint-mobile lol i like that. or mobile spark. mobile-sprint

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 16:25 1

6. SprintGuy26 (Posts: 66; Member since: 21 Mar 2011)


oh god...its going be sprint buying Nextel all over again....

"the large acquisition is required so that someone can challenge the top U.S. carriers"

what sprint needs to do is what tmobile is doing...fix ur network-spread LTE like crazy-lower ur prices..if they did that people would SEE and switch from vzw and att THEN vzw and att would have to lower their prices and offer more to beat sprint and tmobile...its all monkey see monkey do!!!...its really not that hard

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 20:13

12. techaman (unregistered)


but average person in usa is a cattle look at apple fans not many understand that the phone cant do crap but when you ask them they say it does what it does well its snappy ill give it that no lag. people will stay with verizon and att because the service is better no mater the price most care about getting service other then saving 5 or 10 on a bill. i pay 88 a month for unlim data on sprint gs3 phone and can only use data over wifi i used 491mb for dec to jan on mobile data all the rest wifi and i have no service at home why would i stay with sprint even if it was 20 a month.

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 16:41

7. atlvideoguy (Posts: 41; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)


I with everyone else, Hessee isn't shouldnt be the head of a sprint + tmobile, im almost certain he will kill off unlimited data shortly afterwards because he wants to be so much like Verizon & At&t.

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 18:52 1

8. a_merryman (Posts: 685; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


The only reason unlimited data without any type of softcaps is still around is because Hesse and Sprint kept them even after T-Mobile had gotten rid of them (only to bring them back after it became such a talking point for Sprint). And he has been on record multiple times for saying that he wants to keep unlimited data going for as long as feasibly possible, which should be a while considering the amount of spectrum they have. And would be even longer with T-Mobile's spectrum in the mix (Though I'm against this merger, I'd rather T-Mo shack up with dish or someone and for Sprint to buy up whatever regionals are left like US cellular and C-Spire)

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 19:16

9. CEMIII (Posts: 110; Member since: 26 Jun 2013)


I can't believe what I'm reading here You Guys for this HAHAHA

Praise the Mobile GODS. W

Well this will will work & in the earlier comment about switching over from CDMA to GSM or vice versa. Like it was said its never gonna happen. The KEY & LOCK here is LTE. Over time once that is maid a permeneant fixture & VoLTE is in full swing then they will bleed off both CDMA & GSM like they did with Nextel's IDEN.

posted on 03 Feb 2014, 20:16

13. techaman (unregistered)


but with sprint spark using all 3 bands it could be changed to cdma(or hpsa) gsm and lte

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