SoftBank and T-Mobile said to be in final stages of talks regarding a deal

SoftBank and T-Mobile said to be in final stages of talks regarding a deal
Just because T-Mobile was the most electrifying and innovative of the four major carriers in the U.S. this year, doesn't mean that the carrier will remain independent. Unfortunately for CEO John Legere and crew, with 67% of the company held by Deutsche Telekom, whichever industry giant can pay the German telecom giant what it is asking for the shares, will most likely be T-Mobile's new owner. Both SoftBank and DISH Network are rumored to be interested in buying Deutsche Telekom's stake and taking over T-Mobile.

As Santa prepares to make his journey around the world, word is leaking out tonight that Japanese telecom titan SoftBank is in the final stages of talks with Deutsche Telekom to purchase its T-Mobile shares. The report, published by Japan's Nikkei news service, cites anonymous sources as saying that SoftBank is closing in on its prey. The company already owns 78% of Sprint, which it bought earlier this year, beating out DISH Network for the prize.

Originally, SoftBank was considering using some of the shares of Sprint that it owns, to purchase the T-Mobile shares it wants to buy. But Deutsche Telekom is said to be holding out for cash instead of stock, and that has led SoftBank to visit 5 major banks, hat in hand, seeking to borrow the $19 billion that it needs to complete a deal for T-Mobile. A Sprint-T-Mobile combination would provide a much tougher challenge for the top two U.S.carriers, Verizon and AT&T.

Meanwhile, if we learned one thing this summer about DISH and its enigmatic CEO Charles Ergen, it is to expect the unexpected. Even without obtaining financing, DISH made the SoftBank-Sprint deal more challenging for the Japanese firm by lobbing in a last second $25.5 billion bid to buy all of Sprint. He did the same thing with Sprint's deal to buy Clearwire. With that in mind, it would not be surprising if Ergen throws in a bid to buy Sprint right on Christmas Day. Perhaps the executive will have learned his lesson from earlier this year and obtained financing for such a deal. And since $20 billion is a princely sum, if DISH locks up financing from certain top money center banks, he takes those banks out of play for SoftBank. 

T-Mobile is much more of a polished gem now than it was in 2011 when AT&T offered to buy the carrier for $39 billion. The deal was unable to pass muster with U.S. regulators and AT&T withdrew its offer giving T-Mobile $3 billion in cash and wireless spectrum to make up for its decision to let the deal die. SoftBank Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son has already stated that any deal for T-Mobile needs to have a small break-up fee since SoftBank is already saddled with huge amounts of debt.

source: Reuters



1. phonetekmek

Posts: 70; Member since: Oct 04, 2013

Wow this seems to be progressing pretty quickly. It will be interesting to see how the wireless landscape would change with this merger, if it goes through.

12. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Operative word is if, as in if it goes through. Sprint isn't AT&T, but the combined Sprint + T-Mo is close to AT&T in size. I would expect USDOJ to have some concerns with a Sprint + T-Mo merger. This cake isn't baked by any stretch of the imagination.

2. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Go away Sprint we don't want you. You cant even run your own stuff. Tmobile better keep on the same track they are is all I know & keep them in charge. I def know there not going to do away with GSM! Sprint and incompetence go hand in hand. Sprint's network should be much much better than it currently is. They have had the time, & the money (Billlllllions). The time for excuses is over. No thanks!


Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 24, 2013

You realize Softbank wants to buy t mobile not Sprint. I don't understand why people are confused by this?

17. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

You realize Softbank owns almost all of Sprint too? I don't understand why people, like yourself, are confused by this.


Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 24, 2013

I realize Softbank ownes most of Sprint (they can't buy something they already own) does that make sense Jp? Some people like you are simple minded.

18. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Actually, from everything I've read it seems like Softbank wants to buy T-Mobile through Sprint. So technically Sprint would be buying them, even if Softbank is the one telling them to do so and is the one getting the funding to do so.

28. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

The bank owns sprint - that doesn't mean they run it themselves.

31. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

...what...Softbank isn't a bank. And the first wave of stories about the possible merger said that Sprint management didn't really want to and were being pushed by Masayoshi son to go forward with the deal. Where did I imply they ran it themselves?


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Sprint being owned by Softbank, and Softbank bidding for Tmobile to pair with Sprint still makes Softbank the owner and leader in the deal. How foolish most of you are for thinking other wise. The Sprint that bought Nextel doesn't exist, and under Dan Hesse has come back from the abyss that they were falling into. They got a late start with 4G because of Wimax, and Lightsquared, but they are on track to make up for this very soon. No mater how you slice it and dice it they have better coverage than TMobile. Sprint biggest fault among most users is a slow network due to Network Vision upgrades and LTE deployment.I traveled from Massachusetts to Tampa Forida on I95 and never lost a signal when driving to Florida. I had had coverage in most areas that I have traveled, dat on the other hand is slow but picking up here in NYC. By the end of 2014 iDen will be transformed into 800mhz bulding penetrating LTE signal, and Wimax will be TD 2600 LTE Advance like the Spark service going live in many major markets like Miami, NY Chicago, and LA. You haters will start to change the way you look at Sprint in the future, but today most of you can't see past your nose. You all need to make post on the facts as they stand rather than opinions. I challenge any one to refute what I said with fact's not opinion. Dan Hesse only major mistake was investing in iPhone which was a short term gamble that netted customers when they should have went long term and invested in rolling out LTE, and expanding their Network. Lightsquared, and Wimax was unforseeable yet look at how Wimax is being deployed as TD 2600 LTE Advance. Thats called taking lemons and making lemonade, and taking left over chicken, and making chicken soup. Wimax that was being deployed in Asia, and Europe looked promising and Hesse jumped in early yet he still was wise enough to make it work, and Softbank is now showing them just how it is done because they have it implemented on their network!

39. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Actually, even the iPhone deal wasn't that bad. They only owe Apple money if they can't sell enough iPhones in time, but they've been selling enough to meet the terms. So even that thing haters bring up isn't really all that damning or bad.


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

They took a charge last quarter I believe that I read due to iPhone...this means a loss due to sales if that did happen. In other words Apple got paid and Sprint lost. Also when I say make Wimax work I meant taking that 2600 frequency and truning it into TD LTE Advance. I have read that the TD LTE Advance will penetrate buildings and travel further than any other singal.

59. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

If you recall from Accounting 101, there are generally two main ways a company can "acquire" another company. The first way is to buy the assets of the target company. The second way is to buy the equity (aka the common stock) of the target company. How the consideration is paid (via cash, stock, debt, etc) and how the deal is structured are separate questions. There is a lot of tax consideration because the owner of the target company generally doesn't want to pay taxes on the sale of the shares, thus the bias for share for share exchanges. However, DT may be motivated to get cash. That is why in many acquisitions the consideration is structured in both cash and stock. If you understand the aforementioned comments, then Sprint is just the conduit for SoftBank to make its acquisition. In contrast, SoftBank could have created a NEWCO to acquire Tmobile and then merge NEWCO with Sprint.


Posts: 110; Member since: Jun 26, 2013

I believe that no foregin company can own a telcom company. Hell they had to get permission to own over 50% Sprint. Also the hoopla over CDMA & GSM will be dead in a few yrs. LTE is the is exactly what it says Long Term Evolution_ once they get VoIP up they will dismantal CDMA & GSM. Why do you think Verizon is pushing it. They want a LTE only switch. & everyother carrier is following the same suit. Of course it will be a few yrs But that's what its gonna be.

3. HASHTAG unregistered

I really hope that Sprint does not purchase T-Mobile. Sprint has so many problems on their hands, which is why I left them in the first place, that they can't afford to add more problems by acquiring T-Mobile. If they invest more money into their network, maybe they can solve their problems with their horrible network and improve it so that they can be competitive with Verizon and AT&T. I think they should let Dish Network purchase them instead, as I personally think that Dish will do a better job w/ T-Mobile than Sprint.

9. jimmy954

Posts: 7; Member since: Dec 24, 2013

You do realize dish doesn't have enough capital to buy tmobile?

23. HASHTAG unregistered

If you say so, but that doesn't compare to Sprint's inability to make the right decisions/transactions. For example, purchasing Nextel, using WiMax as their source for 4G, then moving to LTE when they already lost a lot of customers to their competitors, still working on improving their 3G network, and lastly, slowly rolling out their LTE coverage (when was the last time you heard about Sprint expanding its LTE coverage?). I would not even be surprised if T-Mobile surpasses Sprint in LTE coverage.

35. HASHTAG unregistered

Okay, I'll give you the first and last links, but the links in the middle are from earlier in the year; I was referring to recent news of their LTE expansion. I guess I missed those two dates. I've experienced Sprint's LTE network, and (from my experience) it's not that great; it's like 3G+. But it still doesn't change the fact that Sprint's network is still horrible and that they should fix up their network before trying to buy T-Mobile, causing more trouble for themselves.

36. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

....June isn't that long ago... they're over 300 total markets covered, hell...right in those 4 links they show 158 markets. Sprint has been rebuilding their entire network by ripping out the old network and putting in new backhaul, the entire base stations, batteries, antennas, etc. On every single one of their 38k sites across the nation. not including the 15k clearwire sites they now have from that purchase. These things take time, they only just got the financial standing to do it at a steady pace thanks to Softbank. Now network vision 1.0 has been completely paid for and all sites will be finished upgrading by the end of 2014 (keep in mind that the government approval for swapping out all these things takes a while...and that they've been fighting trying to get backhaul to the sites since the backhaul providers aren't doing a good job, which is another reason why network vision is behind its original schedule.) And people regularly get 15-25 Mbps on Sprint's LTE....that's not exactly 3G+ That's faster than most people's home connections. And they've already paid for network vision and their network upgrade. It will be worked on and completed regardless of whether they buy T-Mobile or not. So what would it matter? This isn't the same management that bought Nextel and botched that. Just like people can walk and chew gum at the same time, so can businesses. That said, I dont really want them to buy T-Mobile. But depending on how it is handled and what spectrum gets divested I would be for it. I would want Sprint to switch over to GSM if they bought T-Mobile, sell the co-located towers to Dish and pen a network hosting deal with them (Host Dish's network on Sprint's towers). Then focus on getting a sizable chunk of the 600 MHz spectrum auction. Hopefully the government wouldn't make them divest too much spectrum if they buy T-Mobile.


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

You speak about things yet you have no clue of what you are talking about. Read the above post that I made, and come again Wimax had lost of investors until AT&T, and verizon decided to go with LTE. When AT&T and Verizon decided not to go with Wimax, and Adopt LTE Sprint had to change course as well. I bet Verizon and AT&T saw that Sprint was leading the Charge with Wimax, and owned most of clear that Wimax was not in their best interest to deploy. With owning more than half of Clearwire and no other investers Sprinted needed to adopt to LTE agressively and cheaply. This is where Lightsquared came in. Lightsquared had they been allowed to get up and running would have put sprint ahead of the AT&T and Verizon because of the deployment of Lightsquared GPS based deployment would have ment less cost and maintennce advantage. The FCC put a block on Lightsauared because of alledge GPS signal interference, but Lightsquared alledges that the guy blocking his deployment had stock ties to AT&T. The government looked into this and agrees with Lightsquared only after they went bankrupt....go figure.Now dish wants to use LightSquared just as Sprint wanted torofl Sprint has rolled out LTE to lot of markets and by the end of 2014 your ignornce in this matter will realy be exploited, as the links by amerryman exploits your knowledge now. Talk about facts as they are not as you wish them to be or think that they are. In order to speak form authority you have to really invstigate the facts nad then report them rather than to just talk opinionated SH*T

68. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

bravo!!!! no data caps 4 LIFE!!!

4. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Sprint is the only carrier now that has 3g slow as dial up! & dropped calls galore in MAJOR cities. Plus we like using unlocked phones on GSM

10. jimmy954

Posts: 7; Member since: Dec 24, 2013

I've had sprint in Miami and NY.....don't drop calls. My LTE when I've got it is fine

13. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Well that's great your one of the few. Just google it. It's proven now in root metrics & other major studies they have overall the worst network. Ill happily continue to use phone like moto g unlocked on Tmobiles HSPA+. Like I said its really a shame because Sprint cant even get there 3g up to speed!


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

He is not one of a few there are many that have good coverage and acceptable LTE. In NYC I can tell you that LTE is most everywhere that I go. It is not perfect but it is being deployed pretty nicely given the buildings and population density. TMobiles coverage map is no where near Sprints coverage. However TMobiles data speeds at the moment are faster than Sprint's. TMobile just has faster data speed but not better coverage. Data speeds does not singularly mean the network is no good especially when the network is being overhauled. By the end of 2014 lets see who is on top speed and coverage wise Tmobile or Sprint Also you speak of worst network perofrmance when in fact you fail to mention that recently Sprint has fallen behind due to network interuption overhauls for 3g/LTE network upgrades. Renovating a network to the standards of the Network Vision protocols will be disruptive, and when it is complete they will be in way better position than the competitors going forward since they are building from the ground up. Don't confuse network disruption and slow latency as a norm for Sprint, because until network Vision disruption Sprint fared well customer service wise until last years heavy LTE implemnetation. Againwith TMobile coverage, if you want to talk you better make sure you are in a TMobile coverage area. What good is having a fast network that is even more limited than Sprint, and boast how fast it is. Today finding a carrier that gives you data and coverage every where is uncommon because not all carriers not even Verizon has coverage everywhere. Each carrier where coverage and LTE is happening peope are happy, Where they lack coverage or data is slow people are unhappy.

49. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

I get your points but again most are fed up with Sprint's slow excuses. They should have there 3g at least up to par with every other carrier by now in places like here in Las Vegas. They are also the only carrier that also has a bad dropped call problem here & in other large areas similar problems. They have had enough time & people are tired of waiting so in areas like where I am Tmobile much better option all around including using unlocked hansets.

5. Technobri

Posts: 84; Member since: Dec 10, 2012

I'm gonna give sprint one more chance next year since I already upgraded with my htc one in April. The 4g lte is finally improving in my area. Nyc. First I'll hear the reviews from the spark phones

22. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

I don't understand all these gimmicks like Spark though & they cannot even get there current 3g running right! Someone is asleep at the switch @ Sprint.

33. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Spark isn't a gimmick, its just the marketing name for their 2.5 GHz spectrum LTE, the spectrum of which they have a ton of. And their 3G isn't any slower than VZW's....both just use CDMA, which isn't as good at data as HSPA+,'s fast enough for most of what I use my phone for (google maps, web browsing, facebook, playing games)

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