SoftBank close to securing $45 billion, will decide on T-Mobile bid soon [rumors]


According to a report on DealReporter, SoftBank is close to securing $45 billion in financing from a number of large banks. According to the site’s sources, those banks include JP Morgan, CitiGroup and Bank of America. Reports from the past couple of months have included other names in that list, and the figure has risen since the early reports of a $20 billion loan. According to the speculation, the company is keen on getting the deal done soon.

However, another report – over at Bloomberg – states that Masayoshi Son and Dan Hesse (SoftBank and Sprint’s respective CEOs) are yet to decide whether or not to go ahead and bid for Deutsche Telekom’s stake in Magenta. Having met with the U.S. regulators, its said that the two chiefs are to discuss those conversations with DT and decide how to move forward, or if they’ll bother submitting a bid at all.

“SoftBank, which holds a controlling stake in Sprint, is attempting to convince the U.S. government that merging the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carries will increase competition and improve prices and options against Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. While theDepartment of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission haven’t completely dismissed the idea, they’ve resisted the concept of a Sprint and T-Mobile (TMUS)combination in preliminary talks with Son, three people said.”

A lot has been made of Softbank’s alleged plan to buy a controlling stake in T-Mobile US. Recently, according to many reports, both Sprint and Softbank chiefs had met with the Department of Justice and the FCC, to get their thoughts on a proposed merger between the country’s #3 and #4 carriers. Neither of the governing bodies has been entirely encouraging, both have shared their doubts that it should go through.

Without any reassurance from the regulating bodies, it’s difficult to see a way forward here. SoftBank stands to lose a lot of money if it submits a bid and has it rejected. It can’t afford to be in the same position AT&T was in, it’s already in debt and has to be certain that a merger would be accepted before making a move.

We’ll hear within the next couple of weeks – I’m sure – if the company is moving ahead, or if it’s going to put the brakes on before it potentially goes pear-shaped.

Via: CNBC, Bloomberg

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  • sushimane

    Man I’m nervous I hope FCC and doj still reject it and Softbank would lose a lot spectrum and cash money. Softbank can’t just come into the states and buy sprint and then wanting to buy T-Mobile and merge them together and ruin the US cellphone industry. We like competition leave it alone and work on your network. Crossing my fingers

    • izick

      …or did we forget Deutsche Telekom is a German corporation with billions of dollars of revenue and subsidiaries/joint ventures worldwide?

      • bkin94

        yes, but they seem to be leaving the US industry pretty much alone. TMO US is pretty individual and they aren’t trying to buy another US company (i guess they are trying to sell one though…)

  • mikkej2k

    I’ve been with T-Mobile for over a decade and they do have problems.
    But I don’t see this proposed merger as being positive.

    Sprints track record is HORRIBLE. Nextel. WiMax. Clearwire. LightSquared. I hope it doesn’t happen.

    • Dean Politis

      Softbank should fire Dan Hesse before even thinking about buying T-Mobile.

  • CommonSense

    Here’s the game plan I’d love to see:

    – Softbank is arrogant enough to pay no mind to the clues regulators have already given that they’re not too keen on a merger — and Softbank sure does seem to have arrogance in spades. They seem to confusing the banks’ enthusiasm for the regulators’.
    – As is common in these deals, T-Mobile secures a good, hefty breakup penalty if things go south. Now that they’re firing on all cylinders with the “UnCarrier” initiative and showing real growth, the slowdown and distraction that a possible merger would cause would warrant a nice, fat breakup fee for all of the potential risk to the upward movement they now have (which they didn’t have when AT&T was trying to buy them).
    – FCC and/or DoJ say no.
    – Another fat breakup fee (and perhaps spectrum) from Softbank/Sprint.
    – We still have a nice playing field of four major players. Only now Sprint is the #4 carrier. Oooops!

    And now we wait.

    • King Kyke

      You foolish boy

      • CommonSense

        This coming from the genius who wrote, “Them T-Mobile koonz gone rune Sprint *thumbs down*”

        Don’t forget to throw in some anti-Japanese racism while you’re at it. Wouldn’t want to miss anyone.

        • CommonSense

          Don’t knock it ’til you try it.

          In the meantime . . . moderators? Anyone?

        • thepanttherlady

          Got it.

        • Zacamandapio

          Hey you.

        • thepanttherlady

          *waves* :)

    • Adrayven

      The problem with this, is the massive losses in customers in between.. I wouldn’t stick around to see if Sprint fails to get past regulators.. as soon as it’s announced, guaranteed massive customer evacuation from T-Mobile.. Losses all over, and Support will suffer.. again.. All Uncarrier plans put on hold.. no expansion.. a complete nightmare..

      A few years later.. and… Then the breakup fee.. and recovery.. all……. over… again…

      Not worth going through again.. nope.

      It would basically set T-Mobile back YEARS .. again.. really not worth it.

      Maybe thats Softbanks plan.. to hold off the #4 carrier .. not really buy it.. heh… If it goes through, cool.. if not.. they’ve successfully held up the momentum and stalled T-Mobile .. They wouldn’t have to pay the breakup fee for years.. Slimy.. but if they are willing to take the hit.. do-able..

      • CommonSense

        Hrmph. You make some valid points. Ugh, we (meaning T-Mobile supporters/fans) are damned if we do, damned if we don’t. :-(

      • Trevnerdio

        No, it wouldn’t. We don’t have that dope Hummdrum at the helm anymore. Legere is not a sitting duck.

        • Bklynman

          Remember John is only a empolyee of DT,if they tell
          him not to do anything while this is going on,he wont able
          to,now the worst nightmare, is DT tells him,if this buyout happens,SB,will be in charge,and Hesse will your new boss.

        • Trevnerdio

          That’s true…sadly.

      • wasapasserby

        The process would be over in months. Last time, the DoJ blocked the AT&T bid within 5 months, and AT&T withdrew their bid not too long after.

  • S. Ali

    If Masayoshi Son is really serious:

    They can simply buy DT’s majority share then enter into a joint “spectrum sharing” agreement. TMO becomes a Sprint MVNO and starts selling Sprint services. Once they move all the customers off the network they spin-off TMO into a spectrum holding firm and sell of the tower assets to ATT.

    • CommonSense

      Now I’m never going to be able to sleep at night. What a nightmare.

    • Adrayven

      T-Mobile might not have the reach, but when you have HSPA+ or LTE, its FAST.. with Sprint, their network, even on LTE, is just plane crap most times.. Their backbone is JUNK..

      If they are dumb enough to dump a healthy, fast, T-mobile network in favor of their own, they deserve any and all mocking we can possible come up with.

    • philyew

      So Sprint engineering would take over managing the TM network as well as their own? TM would have to abandon engineering responsibilities, if they were to become an MVNO. Or are they going to dump all of TM’s 46 million customers onto the unfinished Sprint network as quickly as possible?

      The rights to operate the tower assets you suggest selling to AT&T were actually sold to Crown Castle in 2012. They have those rights for the next 28 years. In the mean time, both TM and Sprint have lease agreements with Crown Castle. Here’s what Crown Castle had to say on the matter back in December:

      “Sprint and T-Mobile represented approximately 23% and 22%, respectively, of Crown Castle’s consolidated site rental revenues. Further, there are approximately 8,000 Crown Castle towers on which both carriers currently reside. Crown Castle’s revenue from T-Mobile on these 8,000 towers represents approximately 10% of Crown Castle’s consolidated site rental revenues. In addition, there is an average of approximately six years and eight years of current term remaining on all lease agreements with Sprint and T-Mobile, respectively.”

      In other words, those towers are going to be worthless to AT&T in the short term and carry operating cost obligations that don’t go away no matter to whom the sites are sold.

  • JBrowne1012

    So if this fails what would happen to sprint? being that they can’t afford the break up fee of $3 billion? they should just give t-mobile us the money since thats whats more than likely to happen.

    • gog

      why, its going to be a reverse buyout.

      • fentonr

        With T-Mobile becoming the parent of Sprint? I find that hard to believe, Sprint is still larger and controls more spectrum than T-Mobile.

        • fsured

          Smaller companies do buy larger ones.

        • fentonr

          I’m not saying it can’t happen, just that I don’t believe it will. I hope that if a merger with Sprint goes through T-Mobile comes out on top, I just don’t think it will go down like that.

      • philyew

        On what basis do you reach that conclusion?

  • Alex Zapata

    Yay rumors?

  • Irfan

    I am surprised , soft bank bought sprint …sprint is trying to get back in to market fix network make no money , and now softbank jump to tmobile .. wrong planning …what ever if they stuck in spectrum( SPRINT) or blah balah stuff

  • scuttlefield

    I’m so tired of DT trying to dump off T-Mo. I wish they would find someone (a non-telecom) to buy them out. Who owns the rest of the stake in T-Mo, anyway?

    • sushimane

      The shareholders but I personally say the former metropcs group.

      • philyew

        Remember how MetroPCS had to get shareholder approval to go ahead with the deal to merge with TM, and they got some push back from some (e.g. hedge funds like Paulson & Company and P. Schoenfeld Asset Management) trying to drive the price up?

        Well the people who owned those shares in MetroPCS (or whoever they have subsequently sold them to) control around 26% of the current TM.

        Back in November, the existing holding was diluted by a new issue of common stock, which raised $1.8 billion towards their capital investment plans (e.g. new spectrum). It took the DT majority share down from 74% to 67%.

        • sushimane

          Do u think the shareholders would have some extra cash to buy more shares from DT in November?

        • fentonr

          I don’t know if DT would be interested in selling more shares, T-Mobile is propping up their books at the moment and their stake has more value as a large chuck…if they think someone else will want to come along and make a bid for majority shareholder.

        • philyew

          Only the shareholders will know that…

        • sushimane

          I’m hoping they consider on doing that sense they already have 26% of the company. They can imagine if they owe more share more profit for the shareholder right ha. Crossing my fingers

        • philyew

          But that 26% are made up of numerous smaller holdings. P. Schoenfeld Asset Management, for example, owned only 2% of MetroPCS when it raised a ruckus about the final deal. It’s unlikely you could get hedge funds and underwriters (who bought up the balance of the last common stock issue) to act with a common purpose.

        • sushimane

          Yeah true I can only dream lol

  • fentonr

    As this becomes more and more of a possibility I suppose I need to start considering if I stick around to see the details of the merger and if it will go through, or if I should just jump ship and go with another carrier, I don’t want any part of a Sprint controlled T-Mobile. If T-Mobile became the dominant brand and Legere took over instead of that clueless fool Hesse, it might work out…that just seems like a long shot though.

    • no2apple

      You think too much.. Relax…

    • philyew

      Why rush? If they announced an offer had been accepted tomorrow, it would take until 2015 before the takeover was finalized.

      Why not stick around and make the most of the current offerings from TM until you’re forced to change, or see something better elsewhere?

      I don’t want Softbank to succeed, but I fail to see the point of rushing to pay someone more money than I have to.

      • D Nice

        Very sound statements.

      • fentonr

        You’re right, I didn’t say I will bail for sure, just that I’m thinking about it. I don’t mind the extra cost, I’d rather not pay of course, but I don’t want to give money to a company that even has a chance of becoming part of sprint.

  • Ryan

    I wish T-mobile would buy Sprint instead…

  • RefarmAllPCSplease

    It would be interesting if the break-up fee is 10x10MHz of nationwide PCS spectrum plus the rest of the 800MHz nextel license. It would take a few months for Neville’s team to deploy LTE that took never ever for Sprint to deploy.

    Meanwhile if Son is really serious about competition, he can follow the footsteps of Legere: have all-value, no-contract, device-agnostic plans with no-overage fee; allow customers to bring our own device; give free international roaming; deploy fast LTE everywhere (forget that cdma nonsense); and maybe have that jump thing. In short, make Sprint the second Uncarrier. Then I will be convinced that Softbank is serious about competition.

    • DirkDigg1er

      Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t Masayoshi Son, a self made billionaire, have more experience turning a company around. All I want is verizon like coverage for both Sprint and T-mobile.

      • xmiro

        SoftBank is 3rd in Japan so he aint’ that great. He wants to pump his ego with having the biggest telecom in the world which is what taking over Sprint and T-Mobile US would do. Until AT&T decides it’s ready to swallow Vodafone

        • DirkDigg1er

          Do your homework. Son is known for starting price wars and disrupting markets. I like John Legere under the Softbank brand. Sprint vs T-mobiIe is wasted resources. I want to see Verizon dragged into this fight.

    • xmiro

      Sprint is not going to give up their 800Mhz you can be sure of that

  • no2apple

    How about another 6B in t-mobile’s pocket…I wouldn’t feel bad for softbank for trying this crap..

    • tmo

      Yeah, that worked great last time. When expansion and network development came to a screeching halt for more than a year, and customers left in droves.

      Totally worth it. :/

  • D Nice


  • Haru280

    Should DT even be trying to sell TMUS. Tmobile US is their biggest market value right now, as they aren’t doing well with the other tmobiles around the world. In the end DT is actually hurt.

    • xmiro

      DT want the cash, it would $31b free and clear since SoftBank will also assume the debt. According to DT statements they’ll give 60-65% to investors and use the rest for their operations. But yeah they are doing so badly in almost every market they operate in. Contrast that to the automakers

  • Whtvr

    Yikes!!! I’ll sit here and watch y’all crash and burn, and enjoy it also LOL

  • SprintHater

    To me, Sprint is a kid that never think about growing up. They got great technologies (theoretically), Spark and Network Vision…. But its CTO and CEO only think in the theories, and not in the real life situations!!!

    • mloudt

      ( Get ready to hit the ^ button ) Your 1st sentence describes peoples perception of John Legree hit that ^ button now y’all.

      • Stone Cold

        That is not my perception at all.

  • izick

    They should go joint venture like they did with Orange in England to form EE (Everything Everywhere).

    • Anonymouse

      agree. a joint venture with WIND, with their complementary network technologies, should make them the network to beat in North America.

  • FutureInvestor

    I hope they fail and TMOBILE gets more money to build their network. T-mobile should join forces with COX communications, DT sells yourself to them..they are much better company in my opinion than Dish or Sprint.

    • TechHog

      It’ll be too late by the time the deal fails. By then T-Mobible will have lost all of the customers it gained last year.

  • FineWhiteBeautifulCurvyBitch

    I left sprint due to clearwire being a worthless 4g experience. Couldn’t get a signal at home and most places i went and was hella slowww. This was in 2010. I had the sevice from sprint 6 months then realized we were being bamboozled. Samsung epic to be exact.
    My question is i went to collections with sprint. Will it affect my tmobile account?
    I have a gs3 lte and pay $55 a month for 500 anytime minutes, no texts and unlimited 4g lte data and im worried.

    • Bklynman

      What plan you have with Tmobile? I am paying $50 amonth before my job discount,for unlimted mins,unlimted text,500 mb for data,for extra $10.
      Plus I have hot spot plan with them too,where I get another 700 mb,free,along with my 6.5 gigs $34 amonth,that’s with the $10.taken
      off m bill,because I have voice line with them,I use my hotspot sim,in my
      tmo tablet,for a total of $87. amonth. That’s why I don’t upgrade my data plan on my phone. In case anyone wanted to know. All depends how your
      credit score is.


        11 hours ago

        I left sprint due to clearwire being a worthless 4g experience. Couldn’t get a signal at home and most places i went and was hella slowww. This was in 2010. I had the sevice from sprint 6 months then realized we were being bamboozled. Samsung epic to be exact.
        My question is i went to collections with sprint. Will it affect my tmobile account?
        I have a gs3 lte and pay $55 a month for 500 anytime minutes, no texts and unlimited 4g lte data and im worried.
        1 0 Reply
        Bklynman FineWhiteBeautifulCurvyBitch
        10 hours ago

        What plan you have with Tmobile? I am paying $50 amonth before my job discount,for unlimted mins,unlimted text,500 mb for data,for extra $10.
        Plus I have hot spot plan with them too,where I get another 700 mb,free,along with my 6.5 gigs $34 amonth,that’s with the $10.taken
        off m bill,because I have voice line with them,I use my hotspot sim,in my
        tmo tablet,for a total of $87. amonth. That’s why I don’t upgrade my data plan on my phone. In case anyone wanted to know. All depends how your
        credit score is.

        I have a tmobile value plan. Purchased October 2012. Sprint would not let me out of my contract due to no clearwire 4g. When i did get a signal, it was slow but adequate. Sprint said you have a 3g signal which made the user experience suck soo bad. Especially when you were next to a Verizon, att, even tmobile phone, you realize sprint was horrible so i droped sprint and never plan on paying them. Not for their shitty user experience. Im in Miami and when clearwire first arrived i was excited. Even when i called sprint, they said the service, signal, speed will get better. I guess Sprint meant in theory because in real world, they have been all talk. Bottom line, im not paying sprint…. Very bad experience…

        • Bklynman

          Not sure if they would let you,move to the uncarrier plan
          without paying a fee to do so. It seems some people do move to the uncarrier plans without paying,some do.I would call up retension and see what they tell you.
          Unless you are happy with your value plan. Because for $5.
          amonth more you can have unlimted everything,with 2.5 gigs of data with no over charges.If you get nowhere on the
          phone,I would write a letter to head of customer service,by return mail,and to John,also by return mail,that’s you will know they got it. It really depends on your credit rating,
          sprint will reported to credit companies that rate people credit.

  • randomnerd_number38

    Honestly I’m tired of all this speculation and rumor. I hope they do make an announcement one way or another soon. My preferred outcome is a reverse merger, or at least a merger where T-Mobile leadership takes the helm. That’s what Legere seems to be angling for, and if DT is really anxious to get their money and get out of the US market, then at least leave the leadership that’s proven to be most effectual.

    • philyew

      The best you will get is Legere doing pretty much the same job as Hesse would do. There isn’t a prayer that Softbank will continue to operate the new company as an Uncarrier, disruptive force.

      Their financial position with so much debt between Sprint and TM wouldn’t allow the reduced margins that underpin TM’s strategy, and their market position, with 30% of the customer base, wouldn’t require them to be aggressive at all. A recipe for three carriers mirroring each other and driving ARPU as high as they like.

  • Bklynman

    Let’s look at this,what be reading on here is SB/Sprint is in debt up to there eyeballs if not higher,read in different post that Tmo is in debt up $20 billion.
    Now SB,is borrowing $45 billion,mmmm. Let say this buyout somehow gets the ok
    from the different govt.bodies,now you have one company in debt up to $65-100 billions? I think the prices will be going up. Goodbye uncarrier,hello to higher prices for everything. 3 year contacts for eveyone. We will be $5.00 cheaper than the big 2. Not sure how much in debt SB/Sprint is in right now. Someone did mention in Canada,they have only 3 carriers,they all charge the same price,and
    they all have the same phones,and have 3 yrs jail terms for there customers.
    If I am off with the how much debt it would be,please feel free correct it,who ever may know how much it would be.

    • fsured

      The DOJ will be looking at the debt load of the combined company. It would be foolish not to and risk this mega carrier file bankruptcy. They would need a serious plan to deal with that debt and if they propose raising prices then that goes against what the government wants. Of course they would never say they intend to raise rates but they will need revenue quick. That is going be hefty interest payments on that debt if not dealt with quick.

      At&t is really starting to adopt the same moves T-Mobile made and I read somewhere they are considering moving way from the subsidized model officially. Until they say that, it’s a grain of salt but they are moving toward it. I could see people jumping to At&t since it would be the company that closely resembles T-Mobile now in price. If they are smart they should make some prep plans to entice us if an official bid is made and approval seems likely. Find a way to get all our T-Mobile handsets to operate fully on their network and their prepaid arm would sky rocket.

      • Bklynman

        Thank you fsured. And philyew,for your reply.

    • philyew

      Softbank will have to assume the debt of the company if they buy TM, so the $45 billion will cover whatever debt TM has. It won’t be added on after the event.

      Even so, together with the debt already in hand for Sprint, there is still a significant liability. Even if it doesn’t threaten bankruptcy, it will surely prevent Softbank from operating Sprint/TM as a disruptive force in the market (even if they wanted to, which I very much doubt they do).

      The DoJ would have to take any claim about continuing TM’s Uncarrier legacy with a very large grain of salt.

    • Spanky

      You know what they can do with their 3 year contracts? ;)

    • 21stNow

      The three-year contracts are a thing of the past in Canada.

      • Bklynman

        Thank you. .I did not chekout Canada cell companies myself,just going by what someone else mention.

        • 21stNow

          It happened sometime last year. The only reason that I know about it is because I spend (too much) time on the CrackBerry website. There is a high Canadian presence there.

  • TechHog

    R.I.P. Uncarrier :(

  • fsured

    If the FCC and DOJ have only expressed hesitation and caution, then they have not fully laid out their reasoning and evidence to back it. Sure we know they want 4 carriers and they know T-Mobile has really changed the market competition the way customers needed. These are obvious hints toward their reasoning but there is going to be more to it.

    If I understand correctly these meetings are just “feelers” on how the government would perceive a proposal. They could have flat out said no now and end the whole debate. Until the details are released, they review it, and then give their official responses everything is speculation. They probably already have lawyers and others gathering their own market data to compare against whatever the fine print of this deal could be. Son is the one who is hell bent on this and they are not going to make it easy for him by disclosing everything now.

    It wouldn’t shock me if Hesse would favor scraping this given the strong hints of opposition and knowing the massive amount of energy that needs to be spent on Sprint to turn it around. This is could be wasted resources (money with lawyers, marketing, campaigning the government) and time. But at the end of the day it is Son who makes the decision. Hesse is just the puppet running Sprint for Softbank here.

    Just like John is in the DT pocket and is not going to say one way or the other how he truly feels publicly since DT is his boss. There is no doubt there can be benefits to deal given Sprints spectrum. That is a very enticing golden egg and he has stated there can be good things about a merger. He can voice opposition to it to DT but we wouldn’t know of it and if he truly feel’s it is a bad idea and T-Mobile US can do so much more, he can leave the company instead of sticking around to see his work go down the drain. But would he miss out on a huge check at the end of a deal?

    The combined company won’t be the same that is T-Mobile now and what they are doing. It won’t be the same Sprint either. We can be assured Softbank/Sprint will sugar coat all the right words to gain government approval first, shareholders second, then toss the T-Mobile customers a bone or two to try and retain us. It doesn’t matter if Sprints customers are leaving and coming to T-Mobile if they feel they actually have a chance to get this approved. They will end up back with the new company but it would be a blow to their concept of a stronger 3rd if droves of T-Mobile subscribers flock to Verizon or AT&T.

    • philyew

      If you want a strong idea of how the DoJ’s full and formal response would look, read this – http://www.justice{dot}gov/opa/pr/2011/August/11-at-1118.html – and substitute Softbank/Sprint for AT&T.

      • fsured

        Just read it. You really can do the substitution like you mentioned and then build upon the list of negatives such as different network technologies, financial debt of the combined company, loss of jobs, cost to integrate networks, etc.. Thanks for sharing.

    • vrm

      I don’t think any agency can officially vote on something that doesn’t exist. First the two parties must agree (DT and softbank) and THEN approach govt for approval- until that approach is officially made, they CANNOT rule on it but they have indicated which way they will rule when that bridge is crossed.

      While people have written DT off as an easy sell, they aren’t. It appears that softbank and DT still have to agree to terms such as what the merged co. looks like ( so DT DOES care what happens to tmobile), who retains what control and most importantly, the ‘break-up fees’.

      Son wanted no break-up fee and didn’t get it. So he is trying to be sure of an approval before making a commitment so that break-up fees will not matter if chances of approval are good. He is circling DC for this purpose and so far that doesn’t look good. The break-up fees appear to be a deal breaker; without that, he would have made the merger proposal already and let the chips fall where they may. All this drama going on is to avoid paying the break up fees/penalties.

      So far, softbank/sprint have really not made a case FOR the merger by showing HOW it benefits consumers/competition. All they have done is contradict the very statements sprint made against at&t/tmobile merger. They want everyone to naively believe that the merged co. will be more competitive simply because it will have more customers ( who might then leave in droves and they haven’t made a case as to why they will not). I think that at&t and verizon are more competitive because of better network- they are able to draw more customers that way.

      Sprint needs to make a case as to HOW the merger will actually improve network and they haven’t- a whole lot of dissociated spectrum spread across non continuous bands, with very little overlap and a poor history of assimilation of smaller rivals all go to show exactly the opposite. 2500 Mhz may have worked for a small country like Japan but in the US, the large area coverage needs a totally different strategy.

      I want to see sprint lay out a plan like this- we will deploy LTE on AWS on all of sprint towers and DAS in additions to tmobile’s, thus immediately increasing the cell density for LTE sharply and benefit both tmobile and sprint customers- just an example. I have seen NOTHING of this nature- just “we have more spectrum than the rest of the world, blah, blah…”- who cares ? Dish has a lot of spectrum and they don’t even claim to TRY.

      • fsured

        What is DAS? Is that networking technology or hardware technology?

  • DirkDigg1er

    Lmaooooo. Masayoshi Son is doing the impossible: Sprint+Clear+T-mobile+MetroPCS all under one umbrella.

  • Conrad Curtis


  • nd5

    Masayoshi Son/Softbank just doesn’t seem to get it. Sprint is a poorly run company with a poor business strategy. T-Mobile is currently a well run company, that is on the rise. There is no upside to merging the two companies unless it’s T-Mobile that ends up in charge of the combined entity, and is allowed to continue with it’s current model.

    Sprints history has been abysmal. Sprints present situation is pretty abysmal.

    Any attempt to purchase T-Mobile by Softbank/Sprint will be much, much worse for T-Mobile, and for the industry in general than AT&T’s takeover attempt a couple of years ago. At least AT&T has a solid, nationwide footprint. And now they’re becoming more and more competitive.

    T-Mobile has moved to a no-contract model. If there is an offer made by Softbank, we’ll see a mass exodus in the direction of AT&T. Hope they come up with their own breakup letter campaign…

    • KingCobra

      I agree. AT&T and VZW are probably salivating at the thought of this merger going through. The mass defection of TMO customers to their networks, the elimination of their most annoying competitor, and new spectrum that the DOJ make Sprint sell them if this deal went through.

  • Paul

    I find it ironic that I read the article…and found a Sprint “The Family Plan” ad right under it.
    Bless yer heart.

    It’s not gonna happen. I can feel it in my bones.


    DISH NETWORK will be the next bidder if this fails.

  • KingCobra

    AT&T and VZW are probably salivating at the thought of this merger going through. The mass defection of TMO customers to their networks, the elimination of their most annoying competitor, and new spectrum that the DOJ would make Sprint/Softbank sell them if this deal went through.

    • exactly. that defection would include me the moment it happens. it would kill in an instant all the rebuilding TMO has done.

      • philyew

        The moment the deal is announced, or the moment it receives federal approval?

        You would check out, even if you still had the cheapest no-contract postpaid plan available, and the network was still performing as well as it does today?

        I know that things will eventually get bad, but why rush to pay more elsewhere unless change brings about a material disadvantage?

        • jay_max

          I can understand Deacon’s position…been with TMO since before they were TMO. Sprint in my view is simply toxic and pretends to be customer friendly…and I won’t do business with them.

        • philyew

          Interesting reactions.

          It surprises me that so many people would move their custom to another carrier, whose prices/services aren’t considered acceptable now, even if their current carriers prices/services remain unchanged.

          I don’t know that Sprint is any more toxic from a consumer perspective than AT&T or Verizon, and would wait for some tangible evidence of a deterioration before making a move which would cost more. I don’t doubt the deterioration would come, but I’m in no hurry to hand over more cash.

        • 21stNow

          I disagree with your assessment of Sprint not being any more toxic than AT&T and VZW. Even with my phone addiction, Sprint is the only carrier of the four major carriers that I don’t do business with, and I want it to stay that way.

          Sprint has a tendency to treat customers as aggravations that must be silenced rather than people that can be satisfied, within reason. I have gone into the stores mostly to chat up the reps, as well as buy the random accessory that I can’t find anywhere else. I have since scratched Sprint from my list of places to buy accessories from.

          I’ve listened as my co-workers have dealt with Sprint on the phone for customer service. My co-workers don’t get nasty or rude when speaking to the service reps, but they get no satisfaction, either.

          I’ve heard people speak of unsatisfactory experiences with AT&T, but I’ve been happy with them for the most part in my almost 10 years with them. They have some issues, but I have gotten around them when needed without the loss of too much of my time.

          Verizon Wireless has nice customer service reps; their effectiveness level leaves much to be desired, though. I don’t really care for some of the tactics that their sales people use, but I find the same things with T-Mobile sales reps. I go in to both of those stores with my guard up much higher than I have to have it up for AT&T stores.

          All in all, I doubt that I would hang around long at all if Sprint got their hands on T-Mobile.

        • agreed @21stNow:disqus and @jay_max:disqus .. i want no part of them and i’d simply bite the bullet and go to ATT. and i mean whenever the deal is approved (if it ever will, hope not). i’d be gone without a single hesitation.

        • philyew

          I think you misunderstood what I was saying…I simply have no basis for concluding whether Sprint is more or less toxic than AT&T or Verizon. I therefore have to wait for some experience to help me reach a decision.

        • 21stNow

          You’re right- I did misread what you wrote. Even if you had been with the other carriers recently, your experiences could be different from mine and you may not come to the same conclusion that I did.

      • northrode

        And me. After meeting with regulators, Son would not go through with the takeover unless he were given some assurances. So the minute it happens, I am gone. I would likely unlock my phone and take it to AT&T.

    • fsured

      At&t for sure. Our phones work on their network.

  • fsured

    If T-Mobile were to retain it’s management for a new combined company, what can anyone with cellular network knowledge speculate T-Mobile’s CTO would/could do considering the various frequencies and technology at play? On paper it would look like a big puzzle dumped on the table with pieces everywhere. Some are saying the LTE is compatible but Sprint CDMA 3g is rough and not. Would they shut that down in favor of T-Mobile’s HSPA+ while quickly making the LTE of the two networks one solid system since the market is hell bent on LTE? We want magenta management stay and we know the reasoning for John but what about the others?

  • xmiro

    It all hinges on whether SoftBank and Deutsche Telecom will agree on the break up terms in case regulators kill the deal. We have yet to hear how those negotiations are going.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Absolutely.. only time will tell.

  • Jay J. Blanco

    Im definitely opposing this merger. Maybe 12 Billion break up fee then I’ll be happy :-)

  • gotta love the world .. before the Sprint deal even settles and before they have ANY positive results to show on that deal, they move on to the next one. smh

    • philyew

      They aren’t being given much choice really. When Softbank bought Sprint, there was no hint of how aggressive TM was going to become.

      The investment in Sprint was based on a business plan with target margins. Those margins will be devastated, if Sprint is forced to respond in kind to the changes that TM are driving through Uncarrier.

      In one sense, from Softbank’s perspective, it doesn’t matter if the takeover succeeds or fails, as long as the breakup fee is low. It is designed to achieve the end of TM’s aggressive attack on the mobile industry model. If the takeover succeeds, that attack is stopped for good. But even if it fails, TM will have been forced to modify its approach so that it is not directly undermining Sprint during the period of regulatory scrutiny.

      The only thing that allowed TM to survive and progress after the AT&T attempt was the substantial break up fee they received. If Softbank can undermine Uncarrier for the next 10-12 months and don’t have to pay substantially to enable TM’s recovery from that setback, then they come out winners anyway.

      Our best hope is that DT stick to their desire for a high break-up fee.

      • xmiro

        i believe it was Bloomberg who reported Son told Hesse even before he bought Sprint, that he also planned to buy T-Mobile so he probably isn’t going after TMUS to yank them off the market but for the reason he stated prior – he just wants the biggest telecom in the world, though given recent developments killing Uncarrier would help

        • philyew

          Son certainly projects the highest ambitions. If you read Softbank’s financial reports, they ultimately target being the #1 global company in any industry. That’s a long, long game and I doubt it was his plan to go after TM right now, before he had consolidated his investment in Sprint.

          He could have waited somewhat longer to swallow a passive TM, but if the game changes too quickly as a result of Uncarrier, then all their long term plans are seriously damaged.

  • xmiro

    Here it is courtesy Bloomberg:

    “The breakup fee has already emerged as a point of contention, said two of these people. SoftBank had indicated it wants that fee to be low, given the risks and heavy leverage already on Sprint, while Deutsche Telekom has indicated it would want a higher fee since the deal could be blocked and it would be challenging to attract customers and employees during the regulatory scrutiny, the people said.

    Deutsche Telekom may want about 10 percent to 15 percent of the deal size, or about $2.5 billion to $3.8 billion, said two of these people, noting T-Mobile’s market valuation of about $25 billion.”

    DT got about 15% of the $39B AT&T acquisition as a break up fee

    • fsured

      When they say deal size, wouldn’t that be the $45B that Softbank claims to have banks agreeing for the purchase DT shares and the debt? That seems different than market valuation of the company.

      • xmiro

        SoftBank is buying Deutsche Telecom’s TMUS share of around 64%, and around $20 billion in TMUS debt.

        Right now TMUS has a market cap of $21B, it was ~$26B but the market is hammering the stock in anticipation of a Sprint offer .

        Altogether T-Mobile US is valued at around $42B

    • ddlar

      Perhaps, this is a new business model? Agree to buyouts that will be blocked by regulators. Then pocket the breakup fee ;-)

      • xmiro


        well to be honest, it’s been my theory that was a strategy for the AT&T takeover. DT took advantage of AT&T’s arrogance and fleeced them well :)

        • philyew

          It really was their only shot at that time though. The TM that AT&T tried to buy and the current company are world’s apart.

          TM in 2010-11 had no future. They had no spectrum to deploy LTE and, with DT reeling under the consequences of the global financial crisis, there was no prospect of funds being released to acquire any spectrum.

          In my view, TM was only a few months away from a total implosion. It was so bad that I reluctantly supported the AT&T attempt!

          Thank goodness it worked out as well as it did…

        • xmiro

          looking back yes… they were terribly mismanaged for years, just like a lot of their Euro units are.

          I couldn’t understand why they aren’t focusing on their phone selection, everything seemed so… half-assed. Not wanting to invest, missing spectrum auctions and opportunities to acquire more spectrum…

          Come to think of it I can’t even remember who their prior CEOs were

        • philyew

          The only significant auction they missed, I think, was the 700MHz auction in 2008, and I have some sympathy with that…

          I’ve seen different amounts reported for how much DT spent in the AWS auction in 2006, with the highest reported figure being $4.2 billion. By the time the 700MHz auction came around in early 2008, TM hadn’t realized a dime from that substantial spending because they were prevented from deploying any of their 3G services on AWS by the previous occupants dragging their feet vacating the spectrum They weren’t able to launch a single market until 2-3 months after the 700MHz auction had closed.

          The global financial crisis had already begun in 2007, so the prospects were extremely remote for finding funding to enter another auction, which was already heavily loaded in favor of AT&T and Verizon.

          Hindsight tells us that they would have been wise to invest in sub-1GHz spectrum back in 2008, but it would have required some acute vision to appreciate the importance of advanced data technology, when they had no real data capability to speak of, and which no one started deploy until almost three years after the auction took place.

        • kalel33

          His name was Humm and he was a lackey of DT to come in and pretty much gut the company and make a sale. They pushed out Dotson and head of customer service, Sue Knokes, who gave them increased customer growth each and every quarter. When Humm was brought in, everything changed bad for the employees and for the customers and that’s when you seen the first quarters of customer losses, well before the AT&T acquisition announcement.

  • jay_max

    Imagine what Sprint could be if Softbank would spend that $45 billion on competent management and technology, rather than buying out a competitor who is doing serious damage to its business.

  • haru280


  • sushimane

    So DT would only want cash no spectrum? What kinda deal is that? T-Mobile need sum spectrum too.

    • bob90210

      What would DT do with spectrum after T-Mobile is sold? I think you’re missing the point of the sale.

      • sushimane

        no i mean the breakup fee if the doj and fcc deny the softbank buying tmobile from dt? dt want 2.5-3.8 billion if the governing bodies dont approve the acquisition which they most like will. im surprise they dont ask for spectrum. we know dt would take the break up fee and use it in europe but if they say cash and spectrum it would be a win win situation for both USA and Dt

        • Kidney_Thief

          The only thing that Sprint has that T-Mobile wants is their PCS spectrum, which they don’t have much of, so I doubt they’ll part with it.

        • sushimane

          Oh sprint don’t have any 700 MHz spectrum? That would work sense T-Mobile just got sum from Verizon?

        • Kidney_Thief

          Neither Sprint nor T-Mobile participated in the 700 MHz auctions.

        • sushimane

          Oh OK thanks for the info. I didn’t know

        • philyew

          Just bear in mind that these numbers are being suggested by third parties and are based on comparisons with the AT&T deal and the current valuation of the company. It doesn’t necessarily define how this value might be composed. It could be made up of cash and spectrum…if Sprint have disposable spectrum which is of use.

  • Bklynman

    Can’t Att,sue to stop this from happening? Since they were stop by the govt.from buying Tmo? Does anyone on here know if they can,do you think that they will once sb/sprint makes it offical and makes a offer?

    • philyew

      The supreme court offered the following in their summation of Hawaii v. Standard Oil:

      “Instead, Congress chose to permit all persons to sue to recover three times their actual damages every time they were injured in their business or property by an antitrust violation. By offering potential litigants the prospect of a recovery in three times the amount of their damages, Congress encouraged these persons to serve as “private attorneys general.”

      So the answer is yes they could. Doubtless, they will wait to see which way the federal authorities jump, while making submissions opposing the deal. If the deal is approved, they would have to determine what the chances of success would be in a private suit.

    • KingCobra

      Why would AT&T sue to stop this? Sprint/Softbank buying T-Mobile eliminates their most annoying competitor who has been costing them customers for the past several quarters. If the merger were to be approved Sprint would also likely be forced to divest some of their high frequency spectrum to AT&T/VZW. I’m sure AT&T is very much in favor of this deal.

      • Bklynman

        Good point. I was thinkig since Att.,is from the USA,they would rather stop it,since they were not allow to buy TMO. I figure they would not be too happy abou this buyout. But you make a good point.

  • She-Ra

    I don’t really think Japan has a leg to stand on any longer. The Samurai way is suicide when business deals or businesses fail.

  • Bklynman

    Worst nightmare is this,DT,tells John to stop what you are doing,while this process
    is going on,by the way,if SB,does gets the ok to buy us out,SB/Sprint, will be in charge,and your new boss,will Mr.Hess. :0!!!!