Reuters: Sprint getting close to securing $40B financing for T-Mobile deal

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A report published by Reuters late last night claims that Sprint is close to securing the necessary finances for its deal to buy T-Mobile. Citing sources familiar with the matter, Sprint has lined up eight banks to fund the acquisition of TMUS.

The debt package exceeds $40 billion and includes a bridge loan of roughly $20 billion from Japan‘s Softbank Corp to Sprint, as well as some $20 billion refinancing of T-Mobile’s existing debt, the people said this week.

The list of banks being approached includes JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc and Bank of America. It’s not the first time we’ve heard these financial institutes being name as potential financiers of the merger. When rumors were first circling at the back end of 2013, the same names cropped up then. SoftBank’s position in Japan has also led to a group of East-Asian banks being approached as well.

According to Reuters, these companies are seeking to finalize the details over the next month with the aim to announce a merger in August.

Via: Reuters

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  • Justin Merithew

    I’m pretty curious to see how this plays out. If it does go through I really hope it benefits consumers.

    • Willie D

      No part of Sprint has ever benefitted consumers since 2002 when they introduced Free and Clear America which enabled free roaming on other carriers, soon all carriers followed. But since then, Sprint has been losing a battle in benefits for consumers.

      • Justin Merithew

        Sprint is recently under new ownership, it’s no long the company of old. There was a point where I didn’t think I’d ever use T-Mobile again, but leadership changed hands and the company really turned things around. I’m willing to look past old grudges to see what can happen.

        • AA-Ron

          I jumped on two weeks ago, never thought I’d go back. After testing the network for a week with a friends phone, I’m upset I didn’t jump on earlier to get the $70 unlimited plan. Was paying 92 after taxes after a15 % discount with only 458 min, unl data and text. But that’s it. Same plan since about 2010. Now I pay less and get so much more.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Oh but it is the company of old.

          Same management and all. The perfect way of seeing this from the outside in is by examining their price points, network schedules and decisions, and deals/specials.

          None of their deals/specials are anything special. They never match anyone (which you need to do to compete at the very least) but instead float just below the surface. The proof of this is in the number of customers they hemorrhage every quarter.

        • Justin Merithew

          It’s because Son hasn’t swapped out management yet. He’s shown openly how unhappy he is with current management, that’s why it’s likely that Legere would be the new CEO

  • Doble-A

    I hope Sprint is getting close to going to s*** instead.

    Less competition is never good for consumers. I don’t understand why people get brainwashed so easily.

    T-Mobile is doing just fine on it’s own.

    • Justin Merithew

      Um the industry is broken. That’s why all the uncarrier moves have caused very minimal reactions from AT&T and VZW. They know T-Mo can’t do anything too crazy with their current scale without the risk of bankrupting themselves. If the rumors about Legere being the CEO of the merged entity come true, we could see the true uncarrier movement begin.

      • Flyincloud

        The funny part is that you believe that drivel too.

        • Justin Merithew

          Would you like to actually explain why it’s drivel, or do you just prefer to trash opinions different from your own?

        • Adrayven

          I will.. SoftBank is leveraging its self to the hilt to do this.. They won’t have the CASH to ‘really start’ the uncarrier movement and they will screw themselves and T-mobile out of the 600Mhz auction.. NO lowband spectrum for them because they won’t have the FREAKING CASH to even play in the auction.. Plus, FCC said if they DO merge, they will release the restrictions on ATT and Verizon.. basically.. this is a screw TMUS move.. plain and simple…

          PLUS.. SoftBank in the past has increased or returned contracts when they’ve purchased other wireless companies and increased monthly rates..

          They just couldn’t do that with Sprint because of T-Mobiles actions as Sprint is hemorrhaging customers. T-Mobile is in the way and stunting what they WANT to do..

          Guarantee once they get T-Mobile – the contracts will return, prices will go up, and unlimited is likely a thing of the past..

          Keep in mind.. T-mobile and Sprint basically cover the same footprint.. this gains them almost no additional territory. None, zip.. zilch.. They are both top heavy on high-band spectrum.. they both have plenty, and together waaaay to much.. They both need low-band spectrum to compete..

          Sooo… this is the dumb dumb move the the century…

        • Justin Merithew

          Softbank is a pretty large company, so you’re assumption about them breaking the bank doesn’t have much to back it. Your points about contracts are definitely a cause for concern. My hopes are that Son has seen Legere’s success, and let his crew make the majority of decisions.

      • Fabian Cortez

        The two bells never truly reacted before.

        Their reactions to the uncarrier moves is actually pretty drastic from a historical perspective.

        Who would have ever thought that AT&T would lower their service cost provided a customer brought their own device? Both bells have provided more data and lowered their prices a bit. It is definitely worth noting.

        The big price wars will come when Sprint and [especially] T-Mobile get their hands on some sub-1 GHz spectrum nation-wide. This scares AT&T and Verizon because then, these smaller carriers will finally actually be able to provide some sort of competition.

        Remember, competition is good for consumers and bad for corporations.

      • David Lebron

        ATT, Verizon, and Sprint introducing less expensive plans with the ability to finance phones off of contract seems like a pretty drastic move. What about ATT paying customers $450 to switch from T-Mobile?? Not to mention ATT introducing a Magenta themed prepaid carrier that basically mirrored T-Mobile’s plans and general ideology. Those minimal moves?? However, I do agree they are still a very small fish in a big pond and will probably never catch the big 2 in their current state.

        • Justin Merithew

          Besides the $450 promotion, which I believe was a short term thing, their other actions haven’t done much. Their average cost per consumer is still drastically higher. Yes they introduced their own variants of EIPs, but they’re not priced nearly as fairly, because they’re not feeling truly threatened. I believe they saw it as a way to increase revenue, not because they wanted to match Tmo blow for blow.

      • TechHog

        Nice try, but Son will force us back into carrierville to save money. Uncarrier is dead. That’s why the latest event was so tame.

        • T-Mobile Cares

          I would like to thank you for constantly coming here and writing for which you have no clue. You constantly input information based on no fact, just your silly ignorant opinion. So let me help you, in the event a merger is completed a few thing’s will undoubtedly happen, John Legere will continue to head the new combined entity which will continue to operate as T-Mobile, a combination owned by Softbank, DT and the shareholders of Metro PCS. UnCarrier will continue to disrupt the industry, as it has, and business at the new T-Mobile will continue to thrive and grow. I am not sure how you figure that things will be forced back to “Carriersville”, as any intelligent business owner knows, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. And T-Mobile is far from broke. I hope this educational moment provides you to pause and you will think before you make claims next time.

        • Justin Merithew

          It was tame because T-Mo is reaching the limits of what they can do with their current scale. As for your assumptions about what Son would do, they’re a bit unfounded. He’s pretty much let Hesse steer the Sprint ship even now. I’m not saying that’s a particularly good direction for the company, but if the rumors of Legere taking Hesse’ spot as the CEO of the combined company come true, it’s likely Son would let him do his thing as well. If he’s letting the guy that’s posting losses quarter over quarter go about things without interference, why wouldn’t he let somebody who has had a very large success in turning around T-Mo do what he thinks is right?

        • TechHog

          You need to specify what you mean by “losses.” It took me a second to realize that you meant subscribers, since if you meant money you’d look like an idiot.

        • Justin Merithew

          Yes I was referring to subscribers, because in the long term that is what matters most. You can have a profitable quarter or two, but if you’re bleeding customers your profits won’t stay consistent for long.

  • UMA_Fan

    Its crazy one of these rumors always comes out precisely after an uncarrier announcement.

  • Roger Sales

    This is pretty much the same rumors that have been going on for months with no real “new” details.

    • Adrayven

      They need to keep the ‘merger’ alive in Wall Streets eyes or their stock will start to tank again.. $10 says this is planted rumors from SoftBank to try to keep the pressure on and keep stock from bottoming out at Sprint.

      • sushimane

        for me i think their just keep on posting new claims to postpone future customers to jump to tmobile.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    What will they do with all that money when FCC declines lol

    • Jay J. Blanco

      on the safe side give it back lol

      • JBrowne1012

        Take it and go back to Japan or they just might be holding it in escrow

        • David Lebron

          Japan

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Lol

        • JBrowne1012

          See i intended to say Japan but subconsciously wrote china, whoops…

    • Kidney_Thief

      I suspect the financing is contingent on the deal closing.

    • Jesse James

      are you serious? If you go apply for a $250K home loan and get approved then go buy the house but the deal falls throu, your mortgage company isn’t just going to hand you $250k anyway.

      • Matt

        Typically in large, expensive, and risky deals like this one a breakup fee is paid by the bidder. So yes, the OP is serious.

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        Are you comparing yourself to a multibilion $ company? ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!????!?!?!?!??

        Dont you know about the 1%?

  • Whiskers

    I don’t see how this is going to go through no matter how much money they secure since the FCC has already stated during the AT&T buy out that they would prefer four carriers in the business for better competition for the consumers.
    So approving this Sprint buy out deal would make no since and make them look very hypocritical .
    If they would’nt approve of the AT&T buy out because there will still only be 3 carriers left to choose from , why would they do it now.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Not to mention that T-Mobile is even more of a disruption now than they were back then during the AT&T fiasco.

    • MTNlngtr

      Government? Hypocritical? Never.

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      Couple major differences. If AT&T bought T-Mobile it would have left us with an even larger gap between 2nd and 3rd than what we had at the time, strengththening the duopoly. Compare that to this scenario, which will leave us with 3 comparably strong carriers instead of 2, which would instead eliminate the duopoly. Second, all 4 carriers were profitable at the time of the proposed att/tmo merger so there was ample reason to deny further consolidation. Now, vzw and att are drowning in profit while tmo and sprint are losing money. The lack of sustainability of 4 major players in a saturated market is now apparent, and calling the government hypocritical for changing their opinion from several years ago in light of a vastly different proposal and economic situations of the carriers is stupid. The governments’ policies are SUPPOSED to evolve with the markets’ landscape. If the government never changed their policies we’d still be allowed to have slaves and women wouldn’t be allowed to vote.

      • elthesensai

        But the argument still stand. The government didn’t want there to be only three carriers to chose from instead of four. Doesn’t matter the size. AT&T CEO already spoke about that.

        http://www.androidheadlines.com/2014/06/atts-ceo-talks-potential-t-mobilesprint-merger.html

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          That’s at&t bringing up the past, not the FCC or doj. The government has every right to change their stance on matters when the proposed scenario and economic positions of the affected companies are both vastly different from what they were when the government first intervened in a similar matter. You “can make an argument” about anything, what I’m saying is that the argument to prevent this merger will have much less ground than the argument to prevent the att/tmo merger had.

        • Whiskers

          Not if T-Mobile is doing great at the moment and adding post paid customers with better options .That’s going to weighed in when the FCC starts deciding what’s best for the consumers and wireless market .
          Right now T-Mobile is changing the wireless market for the better and AT&T is now starting to match and copy them. Don’t think for a moment the FCC isn’t looking at that.
          With Sprint buying T-Mobile , all that may come to a halt which would be bad and why they may decide against it.
          Sprint can say it will be better once it’s approved but look at their track record , they can screw up a two car funeral .

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          Again, you can argue both sides… But this time around the argument to support the merger has a stronger case than it did when it was att trying to merge with T-Mobile.

        • Nearmsp

          Nope, reducing the number of competitors can never be used to say it is good for consumers. So it going to be hard even for the political hacks sitting FCC to say is good for consumers.

      • Nearmsp

        This was the same lame argument used earlier. That T-mobile would go bankrupt if AT&T did not buy it. What happened? T-mobile is having AT&T’s lunch. Now if Sprint can’t survive, they need a new management team or owners. A badly managed company which has lost money for 7 years can not be an excuse to reduce competition in the US wireless market.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Get your facts straight. Sprint hasn’t made a profit since 2007.

        The government doesn’t care how profitable a company is. If that was the case, some more government loans would be down the pipe.

        How does merging two unprofitable companies create profit?

        The largest issue is competition, or lack thereof. This revolves around sub-1 GHz spectrum. Once Sprint and T-Mobile get some 600 MHz spectrum, they’ll be able to compete where they couldn’t have before without sustaining some serious costs.

        Markets where it is currently AT&T and Verizon only will soon have Sprint and T-Mobile to choose from. Subscriber bases will eventually level out over time and prices will drop. AT&T and Verizon will no longer be able to justify their high prices.

        This will take some time. It’s just that money talks and those with money are rather impatient and looking to make that quick buck.

  • Doble-A

    Why doesn’t Sprint (SoftBank) use that $40B to improve their company?

    • Moby

      Because the banks would only lend the money for an acquisition not to “improve” the company.

      • Jesse James

        bingo!

  • JBrowne1012

    Softbank going to spend $40 billion and not pay it back

  • Eric

    $40 billion is going to build 160,000 cell towers. Poor Sprint. :P

    (If each tower is $250,000.)

  • philyew

    Am I mis-remembering, or weren’t the previous reports saying that Softbank were closing in on the deal? Is this the first time that anyone is saying Sprint will be making the bid?

    Of course, it all adds up to the same thing, but I would have thought Softbank would have been the named entity making the acquisition.

    • ChitChatCat

      Softbank is performing the deal through Sprint.

      • philyew

        I understand that would be the case, if this report is true.

        My point was that we have been discussing these reports here for months now, but I don’t recall any previously stating that the acquisition would be channeled through Sprint. Everything has suggested that Softbank would be conducting the deal directly.

        • Bob

          Many many reports have stated Sprint would be the channel. SoftBank is the company negotiating the deal themselves as they would end up owning approximately 80% of the new company. Post merger Sprint’s leadership team, a good many of its employees, a number of its stores and it’s brand will all be eliminated. T-Mobiles leadership, brand , retail network and associates will continue on with the new brand.

        • philyew

          Originally, the source reports from the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, which fed all other media commentary, used Softbank and Sprint interchangeably in some reporting, but the deeper analysis used to say that the financing was being pursued by Softbank and the offer would come from Softbank.

          In recent weeks, it seems that has changed and Sprint is being used in every context. I’d missed that shift.

          It remains to be seen what the post-merger organization will look like. It still has to pass muster with the federal authorities and it should take more than John Legere simply saying that Uncarrier will continue to convince them, and consumers at large, that this industry won’t suffer the almost inevitable fate of high market concentration, which is that the consumer gets screwed eventually.

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          Hopefully…

  • Bryck

    Same story different day. Lol. same speculation from the same speculators.

  • OLD NEWS

    DT will walk away with the break-up fee and laugh all the way down the hallway at Softbank….

  • redman12

    Every time I read about Masayoshi Son, i’m pretty comfortable him taking buying T-Mobile and t-mobile being the brand and John legere as a CEO with his team. Sprints management are useless.

    “I’m really determined to bring about better service at a
    lower price in the United States,” Son said. “We could inspire
    other carriers in the United States.” from Bloomberg.

    • BlackJu

      Words spoken in hopes that the regulators are listening.

      • Jarobusa

        He did the same thing for the Japanese market. Believe him.

        • Usaboraj

          Why hasn’t he did any of it with Sprint?

        • redman12

          Are you seriously asking that question..

          He’s in the middle of merging with T-Mobile. Doing something now is just a waste of time and money to change everything for Sprint.

          The plan is to merge with T-Mobile all along.

    • elthesensai

      Check out what Son has done with Sprint before you decided it’s a great deal.

      http://shop.sprint.com/mysprint/shop/service_wall.jsp?_requestid=75915

      Sprint starts throttling some unlimited data users – BGR.com

      Son’s Sprint is just like AT&T and Verizon. For $80 I get the same plan with Tmobile that Sprint is offering for $110 and thats with a contract!

      • Matt

        How do you know Son made this decision and not Dan Hesse or Sprint’s management?

        • elthesensai

          Because it’s Son’s company now. He’s upper management. Who buys a company and doesn’t start running it?

        • Matt

          He isn’t the sole decision maker so you’ve made a leap to a conclusion. Sprint is still publicly traded, therefore it isn’t his company. Son is simply a majority share holder but he doesn’t run the company on a day to day basis. That is usually done by the company’s officers.

        • elthesensai

          I’ll give you that but here’s the bottom line. Sprint hasn’t done anything different from AT&T or
          Verizon. They have throttle their unlimited data and their plans are more expensive then Tmobile’s. They haven’t done anything that show good faith in continuing what tmobile is doing. I don’t trust them and are flat out lying when they say a merger is for customer’s benefits. Never has market prong home down when companies consolidate. So with them taking away unlimited and lying why should any tmobile customer want this merger to go through? Why would the doj or the FCC.

        • Matt

          Of course Sprint hasn’t done anything different, their framily plan is a cruel joke. Again, you jump to conclusions. During mergers it is common place for both companies to keep business as usual to avoid major disruptions until the ink is dry. With that said, you cannot conclude that business operations won’t change. If you are making that conclusion, you are stating your opinion.

          Also, I might as well state that I don’t have any stock positions with Sprint or T-Mobile nor do I plan to in the next year.

        • elthesensai

          It is my opinion if course but it’s based on what I’m seeing from Sprint right now. If they wanted people to believe that they were going to be different and more importantly convince the government they should’ve done better with Sprint. Right now they throttled data and are more expensive. That’s what I see right now. I don’t want to think of maybe. Show me what you can do. Convince me it’s a good idea for this merger to be good. Right now they’ve convince me and a lot of people of the opposite.

        • xmiro

          which could be their undoing because no doubt the DOJ at least would bring it up. The methodology DOJ uses already pushes the wireless market concentration up in a big way.

          And if they get to court it can be used as evidence against Sprint

        • Dakota

          You don’t understand how large corporations ioerste

        • elthesensai

          You don’t know me so I don’t know how you can come up with such a conclusion. Of course I do. And if anyone on here believes that Son doesn’t have any say with what Sprint is doing now they don’t know how big corporations run. Of course I doubt I’ll change a few minds on a forum so I’ll leave it like that. Bottom line Sprint and Son have done a bad job convincing the consumers that it’ll be a good thing to merge. That’s all on Son.

        • philyew

          Softbank doesn’t own a marginal majority position in Sprint, they bought 78% of the company.

          Son has been absolutely front and center about Sprint’s position in the market since December 2013, if not before. It is inconceivable that he is working to shape the position of the company in the market as a whole, but not setting the objectives and tone in Sprint’s board room.

      • izick

        They’re throttling people who use an absurd amount of data in markets where spectrum is an issue. It’s fair use, and every company has it in their policies. If you use 30GB of data in some areas, that’s probably going to degrade the experience for others, and it’s their job as a company to make sure my experience doesn’t suffer because you’re an idiot using 500GB of data in a month, plain and simple.

    • thepanttherlady

      Yet he owns Sprint now and hasn’t done so.

    • Matt

      Son even leveled some pretty public complaints against Sprint’s management some months ago. If I had my guess, Dan Hesse will be ousted in favor of John Legere.

      • izick

        That’s already been decided by Hesse himself. He says it’s “a great opportunity to retire.”

    • Nearmsp

      Sprint has never made a profit after Softbank bought it. He will say anything to prevent all the investment of softbank going down the drain. The only way he can do that is to kill competition by buying out t-mobile. Reduced competition leads to higher price. That is econ 101. So do not become gullible to the PR campaign by Son and offer of a CEO position to Legere who is now a compromized candidate in this saga.

      • izick

        He made the same comments way before Sprint was in his picture. I’m sure T-Mobile would have been in his sights if it weren’t for the whole already being owned by DT and the while AT&T thing. Too soon and there’s the issue of merger fatigue.

  • Bangincrazy

    Well here we go again. Another merger and customer service is god awful yet again. Way to go Tmo

  • elthesensai

    I hope this doesn’t go through. Sprint LTE plans suck and are much more expensive then Tmobile. The last thing we need is three greedy companies instead of two.

    • Jesse James

      you mean we would have 3 greedy companies instead of 4. Don’t be fooled by marketing

      • elthesensai

        You mean all the changes that tmobile has forced in the industry so far isn’t real? The cheaper and better value that tmobile now offers is fake?

        • Jesse James

          T-Mobile is only pushing being a value because they need subscribers. It is working a little but but what happens if they get the amount of subscribers as the big carriers. They would no longer have a reason to be so much cheaper. Tmobile isn’t a charity and wouldn’t want to operate on smaller profits forever if they can get away with it

        • Matt

          Well, T-Mobile could make up the lost revenue in terms of volume from defections from AT&T and Verizon.

        • elthesensai

          Which is a good enough reason to keep the four carriers the way they are. If their prices go up and sprint becomes the new underdog offering better value I’d make the switch. I’ll stay with any scrappy underdog if they provide the best value. Right now a merger would get rid of that and make three bloated, greedy companies that would keep pricing up.

        • izick

          No, then U.S. Cellular becomes scrappy underdog. It’s a cycle. There have long been too many people waisting precious natural resources (airwaves) that has hindered our ability to react to changes in technology because there’s simply not enough available spectrum. If Sprint had the spectrum available, they would have deployed WiMax 2, which was tested back in 2008-2009 to have the same theoretical speeds as the LTE networks we’re seeing today.

        • philyew

          US Cellular with barely 1% market share is supposed to assume the role of the scrappy underdog that has a chance of influencing the rest of the industry in the way that TM has done?

        • Dakota

          Exactly, they’ve also been cheaper cuz their network quality has always peer poor. They’ve been the smallest of the 4 carriers & have had to rebrand what was – and still is among many – a poor reputation

        • izick

          I think you mean “operate at a loss”.

      • Matt

        I’m tempted to be somewhat skeptical but John Legere seems to be almost a new breed of CEO. His answers seem to be much more straight forward and less laced with “corporate speak.” Even with a Sprint/T-Mobile merger, the combined company still won’t immediately overtake AT&T as number two. In order for a combined carrier to overtake AT&T, the network would have to become quite a bit more comprehensive and this won’t happen immediately.

        • Nearmsp

          Mergers are not personality related. They are about market share and institutional matters not personality driven decisions.

    • Dakota

      It’s what you’ll get. Tmobile is making the moves they are because they’re in past place. Desperation for new customers and visibility. Some people think Legere or T-mobile are just being nice and are your friends. These are a means to an end. 4 companies provide more competition than 3. But them let’s see what they do with Dirextc/ATT and Comcast /TW. The latter esp seems bad for customers

  • trife

    While I’m certainly not for a buyout/merger/whatever you wanna call it with Sprint, I want DT to get out of the U.S. market already. As long as a deal doesn’t go through, we’re going to have these rumors and potential deal scenarios. DT is the problem here.

    Eventually one of these proposed sales is going to stick and will be approved by the government entities that have stood in the way of the failed deals. The writing is on the wall, folks. DT wants out. Wouldn’t it be better to just get it over with and go from there? I have to believe that these constant rumors and uncertainty about T-Mobile have some negative effects on the subscriber base. As long as these rumors persist, I have to believe that TMO will never grow into what we all want it to be.

    • Justin Merithew

      I feel the same way, DT is going to keep pushing until they finally sell TMUS. At least in this scenario, if the rumors are to be believed, Legere would still be CEO and T-Mobile would have a much bigger customer base. If this falls through all the big players are out, and the only people left to buy Tmo would be a company with no wireless experience, like Dish Network.

    • philyew

      The more the parties to this deal argue that it is aimed at enabling qualitative parity with AT&T and Verizon, the closer the mobile wireless industry gets to being a commodity service. It already has sufficient volume, approaching saturation with over 320 million subscriptions in a nation having a total population of 314 million.

      Now think about all the other commodities and whether you would want those markets concentrated in the hands of only three producers. Oil and gas? Power? Water? It would be a nightmare for the consumer. Why should we think mobile communications would turn out any different?

      Despite the continued protestations from John Legere that UnCarrier will carry on, we need to see far more than words from a marketing wizard to gain any level of confidence about the direction such a deal would take the industry.

      There’s a reason we’ve had a century of merger legislation designed to stop this from happening and, as smart as Legere is, he’s not broken that mold.

      • izick

        This doesn’t apply here. That’s like saying that I have the choice of service from 3 different major electric companies/gas companies/municipal water at my house and maybe a smaller company available for each, as if it’s my choice.

        For example, water. The two biggest water companies offer better water coverage anywhere in my house, but it costs more and has caps, while the others just give me unlimited water in my downstairs sink and toilet and slower or limited roaming access in all my other spigots.

        That’s not how it works at all. Most of us have a choice, still. Before and after the potential consolidation.

        • philyew

          You’ve completely inverted my point. The argument in favor of the merger is that it creates a third entity capable of matching AT&T and Verizon in terms of scale and service.

          At that point, however, with over 95% of the saturated market in the hands of those top three carriers, the service BECOMES a commodity, since there is no scope for qualitative differentiation between their offerings.

          Would you be happy with 95% of oil and gas here in the hands of only Exxon, Chevron and an overseas owner such as BP? Or nationwide electricity generation in the hands of only PG&E and a couple of others?

          It wouldn’t be allowed because it would clearly be detrimental to the consumer.

          While the current situation is not ideal by any means, consolidation represents the worse option because at that point there is no means of reversing into a more competitive scenario. I know you think that 5th ranked US Cellular could take over TM’s role, but let’s get real here; US Cellular has 4.3 million customers, which represents barely 1% of the market. They aren’t going to do anything to re-shape the market in the way that TM has been doing.

  • Aurizen

    every week is “very close” just say the deal is confirmed.

    • Moby

      A deal being confirmed is of little importance. The only thing that matters is whether the DOJ and FCC approved the deal.

      • Aurizen

        I think they might since Masayoshi Son is in talks with officials they might give it a try and accept the FCC rules thats added.

        • Nearmsp

          FCC has to order an investigation. It is not a backroom deal. In an election year, even the political hacks sitting on the FCC will think twice before rubbing stamping any deal with a year of taking credit for not allowing T-mobile to bought by AT&T.

        • philyew

          The primary authorities in this area are the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice.

          http://www.ftc{.}gov/enforcement/merger-review

          http://www.justice{.}gov/atr/public/merger-enforcement.html

          The rules are clear and an official review is inevitable.

  • monkeybutts

    If you need 8 banks to fund a merger you are going to have a bad time.

    • randian

      That sort of thing is common on big deals. No single bank wants to be on the hook for all of it.

    • Jarobusa

      You obviously don’t know how mergers work.

  • disqus_lcA2PzCunW

    They will block the deal because AT&T just bought Direct TV and DT will pocket $2 billion,

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      How does this have anything to do with at&t buying DirecTV?

  • S. Ali

    Any reason why Softbank can’t purchase majority ownership of TMO but keep them as two separate companies?

    - Keep TMO as the main company.
    - Sprint becomes a spectrum holding company that leases assets to TMO (roaming agreement).
    - Sprint resells TMO service as its own low-cost carrier while maintaining its own network (Like MetroPCS/Cricket owning its own network + Sprint MVNO).
    - Co-located towers can be agggregated, and extra equipment can be relocated to expanded markets via the formation of third company (dedicated to rural markets)
    - New company deploys small cells in urban zones + unlicensed wifi for fixed broadband (DISH partnership)
    - Leverage ACA to fill in transition zones between native and roaming networks
    - No merger at all, still four major carriers + 1 new dish/sprint/tmo joint venture

    A merger is just not a good idea no matter what Legere and Masa Son say about scale. Neither would have expanded coverage. Neither would have more capital. You leave yourself in a worse debt position. It will take 4-5 years to integrate the two networks. You destroy your position on the 600mhz auction. Consumers have one less choice.

    • philyew

      With common ownership and common board membership there would be automatic collusion, whatever the pricing policies of each company. It simply couldn’t pass the the test of existing antitrust legislation. The FTC has even acted against equity transactions by investor groups, due to their ownership interests, including minority ownership interests, in competing firms.

      • S. Ali

        A joint venture avoids those issues. Much in the way Cingular was a joint venture between Bell South and SBC or VZW a joint venture between Vodaphone and Verizon (which of course eventually merged). Baby steps. Less regulation than a full merger, but still the same benefits.

        • philyew

          I don’t disagree with the possibilities of a JV. TM have done it in the UK with Orange, morphing into Everything Everywhere (EE), but the component companies didn’t have a common majority owner, which is the idea I was responding to.

    • Dakota

      Ironically Tmobile moves over the last year have proven the FCC point of competition with its Uncarrier movement. The other carriers are copying and price per user overall has dropped. So until Republicans get control of the FCC, they should not approve this just as they blocked ATT

      • izick

        I think they’ve proved just the opposite. The acquisition of these new customers at T-Mobile comes at an abnormally high cost compared to that of one at AT&T or Verizon. Doing things like paying ETFs takes customer acquisition from single and double digits to guaranteed triple digits. On top of that, T-Mobile is offering some free services that others could charge for, this means to keep this momentum of growth, the company has to continue to provide these services, free of charge. That’s unsustainable and investors don’t like it in the very long run, and it just looks gimmicky. Especially things like the music streaming.

        • UMA_Fan

          The thing is as Legere stated you have no idea what the ‘costs’ to a lot of these moves actually are. Verizon and at&t have larger profit margins which implies they are getting huge gains on what they sell relative to what it costs them.

        • Kidney_Thief

          Legere stated in an interview that the cost of acquiring a new customer is around $350, the same as the maximum amount they would pay for an ETF buyout. So, unless a customer had just signed up for a contract, they wouldn’t have to pay that much.

          He also said that their secondhand market is pretty good and they generally make a profit reselling the phones that customers have to turn in.

          The repayment on T-Mobile’s investment, according to Legere, is around 6 months.

          So, it’s probably not as bad as you think.

        • philyew

          The more the shape of the market changes as a result of Uncarrier and the response of the other carriers, the fewer customers will be subject to ETFs when they decide to move between providers.

          It will be interesting to see how much buying out contracts has cost in Q2 compared with Q1. I don’t see it as being a level overhead, but rather one that will drop off rapidly when the most volatile customers have made their move in the early months of the program.

          As for music streaming, since the increase in traffic will simply make use of untapped capacity in the TM network, there will be no operational overhead, the losses therefore will only come from those customers who find themselves able AND willing to drop down to a lower priced plan. Again, the numbers may be less significant than you imagine.

    • Fraydog

      Network sharing could happen without a merger… As far as Sprint, it would mandate winding down CDMA quicker. (2 years instead of 3-4) You could take the NSN Spark equipment slated to be deployed, I’m sure you know how good the NSN deployments are in T-Mobile’s system. Their TDD deployments were ranked 1 out of all the deployments in China Mobile’s large scale TDD rollout. Imagine that tool in the hands of Neville Ray who would head a company running the shared networks. It would be salvation for Sprint and T-Mobile could aggregate TDD and FDD to give them unlimited head room. SoftBank could keep their spectrum holdings and NetworkCo (the combined network) would give T-Mobile infinite headroom.

      There’s a white paper about it on NSN’s website but I can’t link to it or my comment gets flagged.

      Problem is both Masa and John Legere have different ideas when they say “increased scale.” Don’t forget Legere’s background working for Son.

    • Fraydog

      Network sharing can happen with two different companies under different ownership. SoftBank doesn’t have to control TMUS – maybe Dish or Comcast could purchase and then Dish/Sprint network partnership happens.

  • YABD

    I hope this is for better. We don’t need a third expensive network, we need a cheaper one. We have enough with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

  • Dontay Minor

    please do not let sprint and soft bank buy T Mobil. t Mobile is the better phone company for everybody and its cheap if this happened I will cancel my contract

    • Jarobusa

      What contract do you have with T-Mobile?

      • sushimane

        Probably one of the old one. I got the value plan 500 minutes 34.99 , unlimited text 5 dollars, 20 dollars unlimited data plus insurance 8 dollars 68 dollars after tax 73.57 pretty happy.

      • kalel33

        It wasn’t until March of 2013 that they did away with contracts, so anyone that signed up or even just changed their plan were stuck with a 2 year contract. T-mobile didn’t do the “Uncarrier” thing and let them out of those contracts.

    • André On

      Liar.

  • Jeremy

    ATT And FCC is against this. When A CEO wants a merger they don’t usually say bad jokes about the other company.

  • mingkee

    Sprint’s such doing only brings the company quicker to doom, period.
    Even I wanted to see the big 4, I see Sprint is already doomed for disintegration.

  • Jeremiah McCurry

    TMobile has $22 billion in debt. Sprint has $33 billion. Moody’s says a combined company would have $75 billion.

  • Bryce

    The way I see it, you can look at this from a glass half empty or a glass half full point of view.

    1. We would go from 4 national carriers to 3, thus removing competition.

    2. We are going from 2 strong and 2 weak national carriers, to 3 strong national carriers, thus leveling the playing field for more competition from the carriers.

    • vrm

      3 strong carriers ? which is the 3rd one ? Both sprint and t-mobile have poor coverage and their coverage overlaps. It is a long while before they can get strong and they have a better chance of getting stronger if they didn’t drag each other down by merging.

      • Bryce

        You’re not taking into account the fact that Sprint just signed LTE roaming deals with a dozen carriers and already have 40 more in negotiations through the CCA. If the two were to merge. They’d have the necessary amount of spectrum, customers, and finances in order to provide Unlimited Data at a cheap price point.

        • THE D

          You can roam on AT&T for free with T-Mobile if you are getting no service.

        • Bryce

          It’s only 50MB of free roaming as opposed to the 100-300MB of free roaming on any of Sprint’s roaming partners, including Verizon (who happens to have a larger network than Verizon.)

          Also, T-Mobile doesn’t have LTE roaming agreements with any carrier yet.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Relying on roaming is not the solution.

          This merger is a bad idea on every front.

        • Bryce

          No one is relying on roaming at all. Sprint just recognizes that using a reciprocating roaming agreement is more cost efficient and works just as well as building out 20,000 more sites to cover these rural areas themself.

          And the end would likely not justify the cost of the build out anyway because they’d likely only gain another 2 Million if they were to build it out for themself.

          And because these agreements call for the rural providers to use Sprint spectrum, and vice versa (at least for 700MHz) Sprint will have VoLTE in rural areas that will be treated as native coverage.

          That’s a very smart idea in my opinion.

        • Fabian Cortez

          …works just as well as building out 20,000 more sites to cover these rural areas themself.

          And the end would likely not justify the cost of the build out anyway because they’d likely only gain another 2 Million if they were to build it out for themself.

          How on earth does this make any sense? You’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid haven’t you? Where exactly did you get that 2 million figure? How does roaming work “just as well as building out 20,000 more sites?” Where did you pluck that figure “20,000″ from? Please stop making things up.

          It’s all about competition. And yes, you are relying on roaming based on your very own words. Silliness.

          I’ve stated this many times and I’ll state it again: It’s all about what’s cost-effective. Building out PCS and/or AWS across the entire country is not cost-effective. It can be done but it’d be a waste of money.

          But it is indeed cost-effective for Sprint to build out their near nationwide licences of SMR. That’d give them a good 5×5 MHz block of LTE. That’s good for 37 Mbps. More than enough for sparsely-populated rural areas

          The reason AT&T and Verizon have all of that great coverage and subscribers is due having licenses to broadcast using sub-1 GHz spectrum and the fact that they’ve been doing so for decades now. Reliability and word of mouth goes a long way. Nothing more, nothing less.

          Here, I’ll even quote myself for reference:

          700 MHz:

          Total network cost at $150,000 per cell [site]: $150,000
          Network cost per customer: $180
          Number of months to network cost breaking even: 9 months

          1900 MHz:

          Total network cost at $150,000 per cell [site]: $600,000
          Network cost per customer: $725
          Number of months to network cost breaking even: 36 months

          2400 MHz:

          Total network cost at $150,000 per cell [site]: $1,500,000
          Network cost per customer: $1,820
          Number of months to network cost breaking even: 91 months

          If 2.5 GHz travels up to one mile, then Sprint’s SMR travels 2.9 times that amount at a fixed power level.

          Back to your ideas.

          And because these agreements call for the rural providers to use Sprint spectrum, and vice versa (at least for 700MHz) Sprint will have VoLTE in rural areas that will be treated as native coverage.

          That’s a very smart idea in my opinion.

          What a terrible opinion. Maybe you live in a different world than the rest of us but Sprint has made it very clear that they have no immediate plans for VoLTE. Now considering that they have immediate and past due plans for “Network Vision 13.0,” LTE, and “Spark” and they can’t even get that on schedule, what makes you think this pipe dream of VoLTE will come to fruition within the next 1-2 years?

          Unless you’re assuming that these smaller carriers that Sprint will be roaming on will deploy VoLTE as soon as the agreements have been completed. There are quite a few problems with that:

          1. Will a CDMA call handup to VoLTE from Sprint’s native network to the roaming partner?

          2. How is roaming handled when transferring calls?

          It’s all about QoS and you’re banking on a lot of unknown variables that haven’t even been tested. Not to mention the inclusion of CDMA in the mix.

        • Bryce

          The reason that Verizon and AT&T have great rural coverage is not only because of sub 1GHz spectrum, it is also because Verizon and AT&T have been spending decades purchasing smaller carriers and the FCC has said nothing.

          The reason I say that roaming would be better is because, with a reciprocating roaming agreement, the nationwide carriers get a better deal as everyone benefits. In the case of an outright buyout of a rural company, the customers of the smaller carrier are often at the mercy of the larger carriers because a company of a couple hundred thousand doesn’t hold much influence over a company of 100 Million.

          In reference to VoLTE, VTel (one of Sprint’s roaming partners) plans on having a 100% LTE network including VoLTE by early 2015 if that’s any indication for you.

          Spark is actually ahead of schedule despite your speculation. But I will admit to Band 25 being behind schedule. That’s the exact reason why John Saw took over the places of Bob Azzi and the rest.

          Sprint roaming agreement is similar to Verizon’s LTEiRA program in certain aspects. Since it’ll be counted as roaming, switching between the carriers won’t cause call drops. Additionally, the eSRVCC technology also applies to CDMA so CDMA /LTE call handoffs won’t drop.

        • Fabian Cortez

          The reason that Verizon and AT&T have great rural coverage is not only because of sub 1GHz spectrum, it is also because Verizon and AT&T have been spending decades purchasing smaller carriers and the FCC has said nothing.

          And that has everything to do with sub-1 GHz spectrum… The keyword is “rural.”

          The reason I say that roaming would be better is because, with a reciprocating roaming agreement, the nationwide carriers get a better deal as everyone benefits. In the case of an outright buyout of a rural company, the customers of the smaller carrier are often at the mercy of the larger carriers because a company of a couple hundred thousand doesn’t hold much influence over a company of 100 Million

          I still think you don’t get it. Roaming involves money. Roaming involves restrictions. When you roam, you’re at the mercy of the terms that were negotiated by your carrier and the owner of the network that you roam on. From the perspective of the carrier looking for access onto another network, you cannot make too many demands because it’s not your network.

          How can you guarantee the same QoS of your native network to a customer that roams? You can’t. And if you’re an underdog, you’re trying to do everything in your power to provide a consistent network feel for your consumers, while at the same time trying to compete with the twin bells who own and run their respective rural networks.

          I truly hope you don’t think it’s viable for consumers to choose Sprint on the basis that they’d permanently roam on another network because the other options would be AT&T and Verizon. Sprint would kick those consumers off in a heartbeat. Roaming is a stopgap measure, a bandaid, but definitely not the solution. In your utopia it is, but in the real world it isn’t.

          This is why T-Mobile is having issues with AT&t and roaming. Their roaming agreement isn’t favorable in the slightest. Once they get a good 5×5 MHz block of nationwide 600 MHz, they can stick the finger to AT&T once and for all. So again, no, roaming is not the solution.

          In reference to VoLTE, VTel (one of Sprint’s roaming partners) plans on having a 100% LTE network including VoLTE by early 2015 if that’s any indication for you.

          You’re kidding right? You must be trolling me or something. Have you seen VTel’s coverage map? They cover the state of Vermont.

          Spark is actually ahead of schedule despite your speculation. But I will admit to Band 25 being behind schedule. That’s the exact reason why John Saw took over the places of Bob Azzi and the rest.

          You just contradicted yourself there. “Spark” involves SMR, PCS, and BRS/EBS spectrum even though the three aren’t carrier aggregated. So how is “Spark” ahead of schedule yet LTE on PCS is behind schedule?

          Sprint roaming agreement is similar to Verizon’s LTEiRA program in certain aspects. Since it’ll be counted as roaming, switching between the carriers won’t cause call drops. Additionally, the eSRVCC technology also applies to CDMA so CDMA /LTE call handoffs won’t drop.

          You haven’t answered my question because you don’t know the answer. Simply typing out acronyms doesn’t make what you say correct.

          To alleviate the issue that I previously brought up, Sprint would need to deploy rSRVCC to move the circuit-switched call (CDMA voice) to a packet-switched one (VoLTE). Again, how is that handled when going from the native circuit-switched phone call to roaming onto a packet-switched one?

        • Bryce

          AT&T and Verizon have a lot of Cellular 850, but that isn’t all of the reason why they dominate on rural areas. Sprint has been able to deploy highway coverage and great rural coverage I’m the areas that they do cover, without the help of SMR. T-Mobile’s lack of rural coverage is simply due to the fact that they weren’t willing to spend the money to build out.

          I understand roaming involves money, but you’re missing my point which is, a reciprocating roaming agreement decreases costs significantly for both parties because both are set to benefit. I’m the case of AT&T/T-Mobile, AT&T is not roaming on T-Mobile so they are in control of that relationship.

          I know that VTel only covers Vermont. You missed NY point here too. My point was that, if Sprint’s network partners are going VoLTE only early next year, that could be alluding to the fact that Sprint will be launching VoLTE to take advantage of their rural partner’s VoLTE networks. It’ll boost coverage significantly.

          It works the same way a call doesn’t drop when switching between native Altell and Sprint. The call doesn’t drop. I don’t know the technicalities of it but obviously they’ll have it figured out before the deploy it. And I’m sure that as part of the deal the rural carriers have to meet Network Vision standards and all that entails.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Their cellular licences are the major reason why they dominate. Sprint has even confirmed this. So you can now take your head out of the sand accept the reality.

          Sprint and T-Mobile have highway coverage. It may be GPRS (for T-Mobile) but it is coverage. I believe you’re confusing highway coverage and rural coverage. And again, back to my point: cost-effectiveness to deploy mid-band frequency. But where is this Sprint rural coverage? I see more magenta than yellow: http://tmonews.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/dbpix-mosaik-coverage-articleLarge.jpg

          Building one’s network out on the appropriate bands (sub-1 GHz for rural, mid and high band for cities, etc.) > roaming any day, no matter how beneficial it is to both parties. How do you fine-tune/optimize a network that isn’t yours? You need to get over that one too.

          As for VoLTE, you’re hoping that Sprint will go VoLTE because some of their roaming partners have already agreed to follow their own paths? You’re definitely sure and hoping for a lot of things when it comes to Sprint. Spoiler alert: Santa’s not real.

          The call not dropping between Alltel (CDMA) and Sprint (CDMA) is one thing. But we’re looking at going between two different carriers via roaming, two different generations of cellular technologies that barely tolerate each other as it is (CDMA and LTE), and two different methods of how the call is transferred (CS vs. PS). Sprint can’t even get EV-DO Rev. A right, let alone 5×5 MHz LTE. And you want them to magically have a network that handles all of the above? Lol

          But let me guess, you’re one of those still waiting for WiMAX while continuing to pay for that $10 “4G” tax?

          Here are a few truths I think you should take in:

          * The world is round,

          * Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes, and

          * Sprint will only be able to survive (not thrive or prosper) if they follow uncarrier moves (let’s start with no contracts across the board) and fix their network by putting “boots on the ground,” not by striking roaming agreements (solution vs. bandaid respectively), and

          * Sprint will not be able to merge with T-Mobile USA.

        • maximus1901

          What prevented sprint from purchasing some carriers?

        • philyew

          He may not be too far off the mark with that estimate of 20,000 cell sites. Why? Because Sprint’s network Vision program targeted 38,000 sites, but they have expressed their intention of reaching 55-60,000 towers by the end of the summer. I was wondering how they would do that, but these roaming agreements are the explanation.

          Another 20,000 sites through roaming agreements would put them smack in the middle of that 55-60,000 range.

          Since TM is active in the CCA as well, it’s entirely possible that they will be considering a similar deal with compatible service providers, but it’s likely that they will wait to see how the situation with Softbank pans out before they enter into any final contracts. After all, the last thing they will want to do is enter into a deal, like the ones with Crown Castle for colocation services, which might carry years of gratuitous commitment for both companies in the event that a merger proceeds.

        • Fraydog

          Is there any scientific link to what you’re citing as range of different cellular frequencies? I’d like to see the link to be able to look at the science behind everything involved.

        • Fabian Cortez

          No, do your own homework.

          Or take an EM fields course. Or just start out with basic physics.

        • Fraydog

          I know the answers already, I have taken all of those courses. The problem is those rules you throw out arbitrarily don’t factor in things like the number of antennas, beam forming, MU-MIMO, and the air interface itself.

          The fact is there’s no real world calculation that nails all this anymore because technology has advanced to the point to render your estimates obsolete.

          By the way if Neville had Clearwire spectrum you’d be the first to tell us how the rules have changed. Forget Sprint, look at deployments of China Mobile and Optus.

          Finally remember that the best TD-LTE vendor in the world is NSN, the primary equipment vendor for T-Mobile.

      • maximus1901

        He’s from the sprint site s4gru where they’re desperate to eliminate a competitor.

        Paynefanbro

        • Bryce

          Who do you think you are?

          1. I’m neither for nor against the merger.
          2. Last I heard, you got banned from the site, IP and all.

          Don’t group me with an ideology. I’m my own person with my own thought and ideas.

        • maximus1901

          There’s more ips thankfully.

        • maximus1901

          Reading the TMO merger thread, I see people love complaining every time a 2-bit carrier is bought by the duo, as if something or someone is stopping sprint from buying up Cincinnati bell or Carolina west wireless.

          I especially like bigsnake’s rants about the vzw alltel merger, again, as if someone was stopping sprint from buying alltel

        • maximus1901

          I still observe. Bigsnake is obsessed with dish becoming the 4th faux token competitor with the brs divestiture, huh?

        • maximus1901

          And Robert! Love how he disallows posting of things “against sprint terms of service” but he’s fine posting sprint proprietary information a la the network towers status. I’m pretty sure if sprint wanted that info public they would’ve released it, no?

          You don’t think releasing that info is against terms of service?

        • maximus1901

          Nice 77mbps post! Looks loke you don’t need TMO after all.

        • maximus1901

          It’s funny: before merger was announced, people were all like “network vision is gonna crush sprint” but then it was “fcc better let sonny boy buy tmobile cause that would be less anticompetitive than all of duo’s purchases”
          Right?
          What’s up with that lemming behavior?

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Or T-mobile can buy 700mhz spectrum which they are doing now and sign roaming agreements themselves with rural carriers to add coverage. Also t-mobile can purchase small carriers such as Cellular One (TX,AZ, NM, Utah) Choice Wireless(Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and the US Virgin Islands), Nemont Wireless (Dakotas, MN). Etc. Organic growing is a good route to go if the Sprint deal doesn’t go through.

      • Bryce

        1. Your basically saying that T-Mobile should copy Sprint.

        2. For T-Mobile to build out a network on the areas that you mentioned ä Ulf cost greater than the $2 Billion breakup fee that they’d get if the deal fell through. Also, they’d only get between one and two million customers which wouldn’t justify the build out.

        Their best bet is to just follow in Sprint’s footsteps and befriend as many rural carriers as possible to give yourself better coverage.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Yeah kinda lol nothing is wrong with that. And If t-mobile buys these smaller carriers all they have to do is use their towers. Not build towers lol they are already in place just need a refarm. Then tmobile could sell the towers to CC to recoup some of the money.

        • Bryce

          Still not worth it. T-Mobile would be spending 2 Billion to add no more than 1 or 2 Million customers even they bought these carriers. And they’d likely just be selling back tower leases because many of these sites are propbably already ownded by Crown Castle.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Your not taking in the account that people aren’t gonna switch unless they improve there fooprint. T-Mobile is gonna have to build out a nationwide network rather if they like it or not. If they don’t have the money or not. T-Mobile is gonna have to do something. Even if it’s piggy backing towers of AT&Ts network. Hopefully things get easier if they get some good 600mhz licenses.

          If tmobile at least cover every major high way with LTE they could stand to gain more to 1 to 2 Million customers. So many truck drivers needs that coverage that’s how all our good travel. So that’s something to think about.

        • maximus1901

          $1k per customer is not unreasonable.

    • maximus1901

      More competition from the carriers? What guarantees that Sonny Boy will actually lower prices? Because he says he will? Is he gonna sign something with FCC agreeing to concrete price guarantees? No he won’t.

      Let’s take a look at 3-carrier markets around the world.

      Canada – I’ve gone on all 3 carriers’ sites – Rogers, Telus, Bell – and their prices make Verizon seem CHEAP! The Canadian federal government is “desperately” trying to get a fourth national competitor – but they are allergic to foreign investment – so Canada is stuck with an oligopoly.

      France –
      Free’s foray into mobile has already shaken the country’s top three operators—France Télécom’s Orange, Vivendi’s SFR, and Bouygues Télécom—which until now controlled 90 percent of the market and charged the highest rates in Europe.
      http://www.businessweek_com/articles/2012-04-06/frees-low-rates-rattles-french-telecom-industry

      But wait there’s MORE!

      Let’s checkout Sonny Boy’s home market.

      “The lower rates, to take effect next month, are similar to reductions this month by rival NTT DoCoMo Inc, Japan’s largest wireless provider. Regulators have grown increasingly critical of the three dominant carriers, blaming them for high smartphone fees and oligopolistic practices.”

      http://www.reuters_com/article/2014/06/07/softbank-japan-charges-idUSL3N0OO07220140607

      So Sonny Boy says he’s gonna undercut ATT, VZW yet in his home market he lowers rates AFTER the incumbent?

      We have 4 national carriers, something which other countries are desperate for, yet we’re seriously considering giving that away?

      WTF?!?!?!?!??!

      Why oh why are you – Paynefanbro – and everyone else at s4gru_com so gung-ho about this reduction in competition?

      Because Softy needs scale? Then TMO+Sprint should do an LTE network sharing deal and have all their phones include LTE 2, 4, 12, 25, 26, 41
      There. Scale problem solved. But Sonny Boy’s NOT merely looking for scale; he wants to take out a competitor.

      • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

        i’ve said it before .. none of these companies care 2 cents about the consumer and it will be even worse if this merger happens. Son will kill whatever TMO built in one fatal swoop.

    • maximus1901

      3-strong is NOT in your interest or my interest. Consumers benefit when one or two carriers are underdogs because they will offer better rates.

    • Medion

      Canada has three strong carriers. The government and consumer groups have expressed interest in getting a 4th carrier to disrupt their industry. At one point, Verizon looked like their savior, but that was quickly scuttled.

      You know that your wireless industry is in shambles when you hope that Verizon will join for the sake of boosting competition and lowering prices.

  • notyourbusiness

    Please, no, just… no!

  • NYC33

    The new company will offer fairly rates in order to grab market share then once it reach over 100 millions of customers prices will go up. Hey someone need to pay that 75 billions debt.

  • HothTron

    God damnit…why????

  • RJ

    From the Baby Bell’s of the 80′s, to Bell Atlantic Sprint, Att, Cingular, Voicestream to Nextel, to Voicestream being bought by DT /T-mobile to Bell Atlantic and the baby bells coming together to form Verizon, to Cingular Buying Att and using Att name, to the SBC/Att/Cingular who gives a bleep what the name will be, to Sprint buying Nextel, Alltell being gobbled up by Verizon, only to have assets being sold to guess who Att, to the failed Att/Tmobile then came Tmobile buying Metro, Sprint Buying huge chunk of the mid-western portion of Us Cellular, to Att buying cricket, I am sure i maybe forgetting some in between all that but my point is that in the last 30 years the telecom industry have been chewed up spit out, licked up chewed up and spit out all over again. I think its time the FCC/DOJ and consumers had enough of this merger crap as they have to deal with Att/DirecTV and Comcast/Time Warner. Yea ok even if this Sprint/Softbank/Tmobile only to Become Tmobile after if it even does go though then what. There is no more consolidation left, the only thing that will be left will be what’s ever left of US Cellular and which will get gobbled up and unless somebody else comes in and be the savior like Canada is looking for while consumers are doomed. Point is this Sprint/Softbank merger ain’t happening because the shareholders of TMUS won’t approve it, and how is DT going to get around the clause of the metro shareholders contingency buyout. Point is even if this goes though, I guarantee some type of a fourth player will move in or the FCC will break up someone just like they did with Att back in the 80′s and then we will have this cycle all over again.

    • philyew

      TM isn’t up for sale, it’s the DT share holding which amounts to 67% of the whole.

      The only restriction through the clauses attached to the MetroPCS deal is that DT may only sell their complete holding intact, prior to November 2014. After that they may dispose of it whole or in part as they see fit.

      The only way this deal can be halted in reality is through the active opposition of the federal authorities.

  • hooah

    This makes me want to puke.