SoftBank & Sprint regrouping to re-think bid, “surprised” by strong opposition

hesse and son

Another report, published yesterday by WSJ states that Sprint and SoftBank executives are regrouping to re-think its potential move to acquire T-Mobile. While many of us aren’t at all shocked, SoftBank and Sprint’s executives have been “surprised by the level of opposition and its public nature”. Although they were certainly expecting some opposition, and always assumed it would need to put forward a strong case for the proposed acquisition, the opposition they have received is much stronger than they thought it would be.

One of the four major U.S. carrier attempting to buy-out and merge with one of the other four major network operators was always going to be a tough sell. The DoJ has maintained for a long time that it wants to see four healthy carriers competing. It believes that’s what’s best for the consumer and for the market. It repeated that stance recently in a meeting with the carrier execs, an opinion which the FCC shared. Now SoftBank and Sprint must decide how to move forward.

According to the report, they’re “letting the message sink in“. Masayoshi Son and Dan Hesse, the two companies’ chairmen may still decide to go ahead and attempt the buyout. Son believes that Sprint’s options are pretty limited if it can’t get bigger. Since SoftBank purchased Sprint it hasn’t been plain sailing, and the company is losing subscribers every quarter. If they do go ahead, they’ll spend a good number of weeks trying to perfect their argument and strategy moving forward. In their minds, it seems it’s this, or nothing.

Sprint and T-Mobile, 67% of which is owned by Deutsche Telekom AG, have argued that their companies should be allowed to merge to create more robust competition for market leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T T -0.03% Inc. The Justice Department and the FCC repeatedly have indicated that the U.S. market is more competitive because there are four national carriers in the wake of their decision to block AT&T’s $39 billion deal for T-Mobile in 2011. But Sprint and T-Mobile had hoped authorities would view their tie-up differently.

As I’ve stated many times, this is far from over. I’m taking an educated guess that if the company decides to abandon its attempt to purchase Deutsche Telekom’s controlling stake, we’ll know pretty soon.

Source: MarketWatch

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  • Thor N.

    They see reason. The mass defections, that they would both see would bankrupt the new company. Not to mention the spectrum that they would have to get rid of to make this work. They should invest some of that money to buy some low band spectrum, fix their ridiculous company and maybe look for a spectrum sharing deal with dish, or tmobile .

    On a personal note, welcome to fourth place sprint.

    • Justme

      As a tmobile subscriber I could care less if they merged or not. Also who cares if sprint drops to forth place. Let’s all just hope that this uncarrier thing is not just a fad cause as quick as they come to tmo the quicker they can leave.

      • Adrayven

        If T-mobile merges with anyone, odds are John is out.. at which point Uncarrier is out.. I just don’t see Uncarrier staying if a merger happens unless John stays to head the new company.

        • Eric Blackman

          If I’m Son and I see I can’t have T-Mobile, I try for T-Mobile’s biggest asset, which right now, is John.

        • Jon

          You are a smart guy. That’s brilliant but would John even be able to get Sprint out of the hole they are in? I think it’ll take a miracle but hey John did turn T-Mobile around in such a short amount of time and they were doing bad with Just HSPA and look at T-Mobile now.

        • Chardog

          Executives sign non-compete agreements when the sign on with a company. They couldn’t just poach John. If he went anywhere else that is direct competition within x amount of time after leaving TMO, I am sure he would have a major lawsuit on his hands. Another C-level or VP had tried that a few years back (forget the name). Quit saying she wanted to spend more time with family.. Showed up two weeks later working for an MVNO startup. They took her to court.

        • 4nradio

          I believe you’re thinking of Sue Nokes.

        • Marcelo_L

          Actually, JL was Son’s boy, back in the day…So… do YOU think this deal actually started to come out? Hmmmm?

        • philyew

          Since the sale is actually being discussed between DT and Softbank and there have been discussions between DT and Sprint in the past when Humm and/or his predecessor were in charge, I doubt that it needed Legere’s hand to move this forward.

          I’m sure Legere would love to run a carrier with over 100 million subscribers, but – if it happens – it won’t be run like TM is at the moment. He’ll be back in a suit, language and attitude under strict control, doing exactly what his employers, Softbank, require him to do, which is to emulate, challenge and surpass AT&T and Verizon, while delivering the fattest margins possible. Softbank aren’t in business to be the Uncarrier. They are in business to be the #1 corporation in the world.

      • Jon

        You should care because depending on this turns out you may be looking at switching your carrier. Then what you are left with is AT&T or Verizon. Unless you go prepaid but it is the same song and dance either way your MVNO is still using one of the big fours spectrum. Not to mention this could mean the difference on cellular plans and data going up more and more which will happen should things go turn out bad. And the No. 1 & 2 companies will love this so they are watching closely like vultures waiting to devour its prey.

    • SouthernBlackNerd

      Sprint has more lower band spectrum than TMUS and their lower band spectrum is nationwide. They have already even started building out their lower band network, while TMUS is said to be starting rollout in Q4. Sprint also has more spectrum than DISH and TMUS combined, why would they need to make a spectrum sharing deal?

      Sprint could drop to fourth, but I do not see it happening, because they have something up their sleeve. If they were willing to buy TMUS, then I believe their PLAN B could be buy up the regional carriers and expand coverage.

      • Jon

        Buying another carrier won’t do anything if Sprint doesn’t put that spectrum to good use. Nextel is done and they finally will have some good low band spectrum I personally think they should focus their time and effort into building up the company and expanding coverage they are slow to make any kind of moves and when they do they do some odd things instead of adopting LTE. We all know how that turned out.

      • S. Ali

        The ESMR portion of 800mhz is not nationwide, that is why they are unable to deploy it everywhere.

        • SouthernBlackNerd

          ESMR is nationwide. Sprint does not own all 14Mhz( in Georgia/alabama they do share a portion with SouthernLinc) nationwide, but they do own the vast majority. and Much more than TMUS.

        • Fraydog

          Not completely true Sprint still has IBEZ zones where they cannot deploy SMR LTE due to Canada and Mexico still using IDEN.

  • Adrayven

    As long as T-Mobile is healthy and growing, the FCC and DoJ have little incentive to change their minds… Seriously.. why would you kill the momentum T-Mobile has gained? Saying dooms day for T-Mobile won’t cut it, because it has spectrum prospects like the Verizon deal and the upcoming 600MHz spectrum.. it has plenty of room to grow..

    Granted, T-Mobiles growth is at the expense of Sprint, mostly, but guess what.. I think they’d rather see T-Mobile stay strong and grow and let Sprint die than combine both of them and see the whole thing fall apart.. At least with a #3 and #4, if one dies and another grows stronger, cool.. With just a #3 and it falters.. well. what do you do then?

    just my 2 cents…

  • TD

    If they want to be a big player so bad, why don’t they invest all that debt they want to incur and make the biggest most potent network in the nation? They already have the spectrum. Oh I get it, they want to acquire all the customers without actually doing any real work to compete. Sprint: spend a year or two doing what Tmobile has been doing and make your network consumer-friendly with attractive offers. Get rid of contracts. Get rid of those stupid locked down SIM cards. Become a dumb pipe that the country so desperately needs and knock AT&T and Verizon back on their heels.

    • S. Ali

      Agreed on all points.

      While Sprint has a ton of 2.5ghz spectrum (which they haven’t even deployed yet) their LTE is running on a puny 5×5 1900mhz network and even less on 1.5-3mhz on 800. Sprint can’t scale their network,which is why they want Tmobiles 1900mhz (up to 20mhz in some markets). Their next best option is to buy a number of regional carriers (USC, C-Spire, NTelos) to bulk up their LTE spectrum. TMO was just easier and cheaper. Their second option would be to partner with DISH who also has 40mhz of spectrum (adjacent to Sprints current holding) doing nothing. A third option would be to bid in the AWS-3 and 600mhz auctions (but this is long-term). In all cases it doesn’ change the fact that Sprint does not present value to the consumer with their current contract/pricing model.

      • SouthernBlackNerd

        Sprint has already started deploying 2.5Ghz. I am not sure where you got your information from, but it is definitely outdated and wrong. They have even said by the end of the year they will have over 100million POPS covered in spark. I do not even know where you got 1.5-3Mhz on 800Mhz. Sprint owns 14Mhz of 800Mhz spectrum. They have enough spectrum for 1 CDMA 1xAdvanced channel and another 5x5mhz LTE channel. In some areas, like Georgia and the Mexico/Canada border, they will be limited in their spectrum usage, but the rest of the country will enjoy 5×5.

        5x5Mhz is the smallest any carrier is deploying, but both ATT/TMUS have areas that only have 5×5 and will not be upgraded past that point, because of lack of spectrum.

        TMUS was about customers and momentum. Building a network takes time, which is what they are doing. Infrastructure is their biggest problem,especially backhaul. Sprint actually broke the LTE speed record in their labs and reached 2.6Gbps. Sprint will have to refocus and built a network that people will want to come to, then worry about marketing.

        • Jon

          Sprint says a lot of things but it doesn’t turn out the way they planned. Action speaks louder than words. Rumors are rumors some are fun and exciting but this is just somewhat confusing a mess of a company (Sprint) wanting to merge with the “un carrier”. Sprint has the “Midas Touch” and I’m nervous that they will ruin T-Mobile.

        • fsured

          No denies that if Sprint were to properly build the network they would be a real threat to T-Mobile, At&t, and Verizon. It’s just the amount of money it will take, technology to purchase/upgrade, and time needed that is killing them. In 3-4yrs I see them as a force if it builds properly.

        • S. Ali

          I regularly follow updates on S4GRU forums, so I speak from first hand knowledge. Sprint is at least 1-1.5 years away from full 2.5Ghz deployment. The members over there might salivate at 40mhz multi-carrier spectrum, but it simply isn’t happening any time soon or realistic. They only have 3 or 4 tri-band devices and building penetration on that band is a joke (I used owned a WiMax hotspot and you need to be a street level to get coverage). As far as I am concerned, it is not deployed until WiMax is shut down (late 2015 or early 2016). Add this to the fact that they only plan to cover 100M POPs with this band which is half of what TMO ALREADY covers. Their 800mhz deployment is a joke, it is a puny amount of spectrum, 5mhz LTE in MOST markets, and it is not even nationwide (they only plan to deploy to 150m POPs). That is 2/3 of what TMO ALREADY covers. Their 1900mhz LTE is already over capacity in most of the deployed markets (why the heck do you think they want TMO so badly?). You can see the speedtest in every market on the Sensorly app (its between 5 – 10mbit, rarely 15-20mbit). Talk about last years speed. Sprint is the biggest snake oil business in the wireless game. They have been building their network for FIVE YEARS. At this point, only a fool would remain their customer.

          You know things are bad when they want their OWN customers to recruit people to their network (e.g Sprint Framily).

        • SouthernBlackNerd

          Following forums is not first hand experience. in 1.5 years they will have 1Gbps Spark, which is what they consider full deployment. However, they will have 20Mhz spark covering 100M POPS by end of the year, which is also when they will start enabling 40Mhz.

          The purpose of 800Mhz is coverage. It will be for customers who do not have access to 2.5Ghz or 1.9Ghz, so it can be puny. Also if you think it is puny, then what do you think of TMUS. They cannot launch 5×5 at most as well.

          BS. They plan on launching 800Mhz nationwide. They will only have 150M POPs done by year end.

          five years? Now, I know you are not serious.

        • KingCobra

          “Will”, “if”, “soon”, and “potential” are the keywords with Sprint. The problem is that RIGHT NOW the network is terrible. IF they ever deliver on all of their promises then yes theoretically they will be a strong enough network to compete with the other 3 carriers again.

  • sushimane

    I wish they would bid so T-Mobile would get the break up fee haha. But at least now their thinking you can’t just buy other Carrier to uptain more customers. People would leave regardless but Now T-Mobile can in force their uncarrier.

    • TechHog

      The breakup fee would come only after T-Mobile has suffered irreparable damage due to not being able to do anything for 6-12 months and bad publicity. I don’t think most of you understand what a breakup fee is

      • Marcelo_L

        You think that jumping into a deal with Softbank won’t make it suffer any negative publicity? You must be new around here.

        Sure, TMo is in a much better place today (the breakup fee from the AT&T debacle certainly helped), but if you think for a minute that if a deal with Softbank/Sprint is announced that it’s not going to have a negative impact on TMo with all it’s Un-carriers initiatives, you’re not using your thinking cap.

        • TechHog

          You misunderstood me. I mean that the breakup fee wouldn’t make up for the damage done no matter how much it is. It would be worse than the AT&T merger because the breakup fee would be lower and T-Mobile would fall further.

  • vrm

    I have believed all along ( said so here, too) that this was more about sprint’s survival than about fostering competition and the specious arguments they put forward were to mask the real issue- now you heard it from the horse’s mouth.

    The material issue here is that even if they merge, they will have huge debt and will be incurring more debt to get to where they want to be, wherever that is. IMO, tmobile is better off incurring that debt on its own to build out a network. Even with heavy investment, the disparate bands and technologies that the two companies have makes it an execution enigma- if I were to be convinced that the merger will help competition, the primary issue for me is to to understand HOW they plan to solve this enigma.

    • Chris

      My guess would be VoLTE. If they deployed that than CDMA vs GSM is irrelevant. It would come down to compatibility of LTE bands and I suppose they could have phones built with all the necessary bands inside them.

      • vrm

        sounds good, if all this can be achieved by waving a magic wand.

        Handsets for both companies are incompatible with a) volte, b) others’ frequencies c) technology (CDMA/GSM)

        It is not going to be a trivial effort to convert all handsets, assuming you can GET them made. Time frames are important- things move fast in this sector.

        Sprint’s plan would be to take the easy way out and treat tmobile like they treated nextel – collect the cash flow for as long as it lasts and in the meantime hope that their own fortune reverses. Taking customers from at&t/verizon is not going to be easy for sprint, even IF their NV and spark efforts are successful AND the big two remain stationary.

        I think that what tmobile has done is brilliant, given the cards they were dealt. It remains to be seen what tricks they have up their sleeve yet.

  • vrm

    Regarding the surprise, I guess he was surprised that mere promises of campaign donations and lucrative positions to officials didn’t do the trick- at&t and verizon already have them in their pocket. Failure to keep the merger under wraps ( or even actively publicizing it to serve their end) probably clued in their competitors.

    • maximus1901

      Actually ATT and VZW give money to Republicans and TMO, Sprint give to Democrats sooooo that logic doesn’t work.

      • bob90210

        Corporations typically give to both parties so that they always win. Everyone else loses.

      • KlausWillSeeYouNow

        That’s patently false. T-Mobile does not give, period. Foreign contributions are not allowed. What are you talking about?

      • KlausWillSeeYouNow

        And Verizon is a big DNC contributor. I don’t know where you’re getting your facts.

  • winkwink?

    just outta curiosity what would actually happen if sprint or who ever goes bankruptcy or go out of business especial a cellphone carrier? what would happen to the spectrum they got etc?

    • Daniel

      More likely than not, the company assets would all go up for sale or auction, either as a whole, or piece by piece. If Sprint were to declare bankruptcy, this would probably also make it MUCH easier for it to be sold to whomever was the highest bidder, to maximize return to creditors, meaning a company like T-Mobile, or even AT&T or Verizon could buy them. Remember how American Airlines bought TWA when TWA declared bankruptcy? The court approved it, and the DOJ allowed it to go through, taking into account TWA’s bankrupt status.

      • winkwink?

        OK that’s what I thought too wasn’t to sure would happen so if anybody goes for broke everything goes up for sale so everyone can get a bid on everything ok thanks for the info.

  • hanfeedback

    There are many reasons Sprint is failing. LTE speeds @ 3mbps, nothing compelling to offer customers. Abysmal speeds all over. Network vision has been a disaster. I mean I could literally make a page of reasons why they are failing. But not being able to buy Tmobile is not one of them and they shouldn’t be allowed to buy Tmobile.

    • maximus1901

      Network Vision is not even done yet. LTE-800 has barely begun as has 1xA-800 voice, not to mention B41 LTE.
      Let’s re-examine things end of 2014 when Sprint has 250mil LTE including 100mil B41 and 150mil 800-LTE.

      What will TMO’s LTE coverage be like then? Do you think it will extend past the city limits?
      I think if TMO has reached 240mil LTE, from current 209mil, it’ll be an AMAZING accomplishment.
      FYI, now that TMO has finished upgrading to LTE its towers with ethernet backhaul present, let’s see how fast they can upgrade their non-ethernet backhaul towers:)

      • hanfeedback

        Look, I want Sprint to be successful, it will only be good for customers on any of the other carriers but Sprint doesn’t have a clue what they are doing, the guy who is in charge of the network deployment @ Sprint should be terminated immediately along with Hesse probably as well. I am in Houston, I had Sprint up until ~3 months ago and my wife up until ~1 month ago, While there were areas with 800ESMR here the handoffs were a disaster, Speeds are/were horrendous and I even roamed on Cricket in several areas which should definitely have service. All this coupled with the fact that you cannot use the “wait for NV” excuse here, Houston was one of the first markets to launch and should be by far one of the farthest along but the service was still horrendous. I moved to ATT after that and now Im on Tmobile, both of which are LIGHT YEARS ahead of Sprint as far as reliability and speed.

        So, like I said, I want Sprint to succeed but lets not pretend that right now they are a disaster and should not be allowed to touch TMobile with a 10ft pole.

        • maximus1901

          I don’t have Sprint but I have been reading the S4GRU forums and yes, handoffs are inconsistent between NV vendors and even depend on which phone you have.
          I plan on waiting out the kinks and switching for the “more than city limits LTE” in the fall AND the $45 unlimited everything, unless TMO starts upgrading.

        • hanfeedback

          Honestly Tmobile’s only downside is the EDGE/GPRS areas. At least here in Houston they have always had excellent coverage as long as I have had them. They are also getting 700A from Verizon here which will make the experience that much better. I only wish they had at least a roaming package for domestic high speed data even if it cost money but it’s not a deal breaker for me, Ill use the international data more anyway.

        • KingCobra

          With Sprint you’ll be waiting a LONG time like their customers have been waiting for years for network “improvements”. They need to show they can actually deliver on all those empty promises and delays before I will trust Sprint again.

    • Ohyea

      I have both tmoble and sprint and tbh I have no clue where your getting 3mbps from I atleast have 10mbps but it gets everything I need done on my phone. I understand it’s not the 30+ that tmobile has but come on its a phone. Plus when I travel my sprint phone has yet to fail me

      • lakerfan

        well u lucky i got N LG G2 from sprint updated it so it can work on there spark network which supposedly is available in my area of los angeles zip 90022 , phone displays 4G everywhere speeds are PRETTY BAD 1-3 dwn w full lte bars ,surprisingly upload is real good 10-12 up ping is kinda bad around 300 . moms tmobile xperia z1s everywhere i get those speeds in LA on sprint she gets 15 to 50 dwn,10-15 up excellent ping in the 30s on tmobile lte, hspa 8-12 dwn ,2-4 up ping less than 100 either way both ways better than anythin sprint offers .

        • Marcelo_L

          50Mbps down ? Damn. Just finally saw some 30’s last week in the 305. Congrats.

  • Jonny Boy

    Yes! Let this abortion fail, and let T-Mobile keep kicking ass on its own. Bring on the 600 mHz!!!

    • Techngro

      I think you meant ‘abomination’?

  • Deadeye37

    I think Masayoshi Son and Dan Hesse wouldn’t be surprised by the opposition if they were reading the tech blogs & comments that covered the AT&T takeover. I really have to wonder how much research they did before coming up with this idea.

    Let them try to take over T-mobile. For the breakup fee, they should pass on a lot of that spectrum that is sitting unused. We could use it!

    • philyew

      The minimum level of research that their lawyers and strategists should have done was read the DoJ filing against the AT&T takeover, and then substitute Softbank/Sprint wherever it said AT&T.

      It would have taken them an hour at most to realize that the DoJ objections would hardly change at all.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Given how Sprint has been handled so far why are they surprised?

  • Jay J. Blanco

    haha take that Sprint ! T-Mobile need to buy some spectrum from Dish and add new HSPA areas.

    • maximus1901

      TMO already has spectrum nationwide. Their spectrum doesn’t stop at the city limits though upgraded towers DO.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        Oh i know that its just to expesive to deploy nationwide 1900 3G from 1700/2100 4G from scratch. They should look for alternatives like lease attt towers from Crown. Thats there best bet.

        • Marcelo_L

          Yup. They need to get more of their spectrum re-farmed into 1900. It’ll be a good step, especially as fewer and fewer EDGE-only phones(Do they even SELL any phone that isn’t UMTS/HSPA capable?) exist on the network. That’ll put less stress on the 1700/2100 network one would hope.

  • I would be pissed if this happened. It’s dumb to think that a crappy company would buy out one that is actually worth something a dam; Sprint is a joke!

    • Jay Holm

      Not only that, but it won’t be all that much longer til T-Mobile passes Sprint in customer base, like by the end of the year.

  • francob911 .

    If this goes through… Then you can forget about the unlimited data … And you see how every carrier is going cheaper on their plans because of T-Mobile … You can just forget about that too.. All carriers witch it would be 3 if the merger happens would be around the same price … Right now its $42 for each person to have unlimited everything if your in a family plan with T-Mobile … It would never be to that price in fact the cheapest would be like $50 in a family plan with 1 or 2,GB of data with no more unlimited data ..I hope this doesn’t go through through

    • Jon

      Yeah lol maybe you should see what happening in Canada they have three carriers and they work together and artificially drive up pricing. Although they deny it they are in cahoots.

      • francob911 .

        Danm your right !!! I just read ….people are blind … This needs to stop Dish needs to buy T-Mobile if anything … O and for it could be $42 you need to have 5 people in your plan of course .. Just imagine if T-Mobile goes up to 7 kind of like sprint? Especially if its $10 add a line..The main point here is that if this goes through the prices will go up !! Like in Canada.

  • Kidney_Thief

    I think this demonstrates how out of touch with reality the Sprint management are, and further explains why Sprint is where they are now.

  • DTsoldUsOutAgain

    On one side SoftBank is willing to do anything to prop up Sprint in order to remain competitive. On the other side DT is so desperate to sell out to anybody even if there’s no chance of this thing passing through.

    Both sides are blind to reality. This will be disastrous.

  • Marcelo_L

    It never ceases to amaze me how utterly RIDICULOUSLY, out of touch these top executives are with reality. How long ago did AT&T try to buy out TMobile, and what sort of resistance did they receive? Hello?!? Did they not read ANYTHING in the papers during that time. There were petitions to the directors of the FCC, and FTC against it. There were public policy advocates out there in DROVES speaking out against the AT&T buyout.

    Did they HONESTLY think that there wasn’t going to be this sort of resistance? Was it because they thought that their current spectrum usage is so divergent from TMo’s that it wasn’t going to be an issue ? Really ? C’mon.

    You could tell this was going to happen. As a matter of fact, I dare posit that it will only get more and more difficult for this sort of merger to occur. For someone to purchaseTMobile at this point, especially since it’s grown like it has in the past couple of years, will require someone COMPLETELY OUTSIDE the Big 4 to step in and purchase them. Maybe someone like Comcast ( Yeah, right. That’s going to happen. ) or Dish ( What’s your chance, snowball?).

    Any way you slice this, Softbank/Sprint simply don’t have a case ( outside of trying the tried and true, “We’ll throw lots of money at this” angle ) that’s compelling enough that the damage to consumers will be outweighed significantly by any of the benefits to the public (Name one, please. No. Name a COHERENT one.).

    • Stone Cold

      I agree and the backlash is huge just on the spectulation of a possible merger.

    • dtam

      I hope your example of comcrap buying tmo is complete speculation

      • Marcelo_L

        Danny, you are familiar with the concept of sarcasm, no? My comment, with regards to Comcast and TMo, was a prime example of that.

        That’s about how much “speculation” that would amount to.

        • dtam

          sarcasm is really difficult to show on the interwebs. I just wasn’t sure if there were any type of rumblings about comcrap. I hear the dish speculation though

  • mingkee

    We all don’t want to get fucked up with such fucked up company!!!!!

  • Danny Lewis

    SoftSprint should give up. I think it is in everyone’s interests to have four major carriers.

    The only way I will support this merger is if T-Mobile’s administration gets to run the show and Sprint’s gets shown the door.

    • Marcelo_L

      And not even then. There’s ZERO chance of that happening. Even John L. was Son’s boy over at Softback back in the day. The coordination of uniting the spectrums ALONE will be stifling to the point that it would just be unsustainable.

  • DirkDigg1er

    I have mixed feelings about the merger. I think it’s wrong for the gov’t to deny sale of T-mobile if DT clearly wants out and Sprint is willing to buy. Together both companies would save money on creating an (reliable)nationwide network, handset deals, world roaming, and upcoming auctions. On the the other hand, Sprint has shown no improvement since introducing wimax, their so-called infrastructure and backhaul upgrades are a joke, and Masayoshi Son hasn’t won us, americans, over with his goals for the company.

    • KingCobra

      The government doesn’t have a problem with DT selling T-Mobile, they just have a problem with them being sold to another one of the big 4. It eliminates a competitor and erodes competition in the market. If an outside player such as DISH were to buy T-Mobile, I’m sure it would pass through regulatory checks with ease.

  • UMA_Fan

    If Son sees this merger as the only path for Sprint does this mean he might consider selling off Sprint if he can’t get it done?

    • KingCobra

      No he’ll try to rebuild and restructure Sprint before giving up. That’s just an excuse to try and win regulatory approval just like when AT&T tried to claim they wouldn’t be able to roll out LTE unless they were allowed to acquire T-Mobile.

      • fsured

        I agree, if he is entertaining the thought that Sprint was a mistake and wants out, it won’t happen right away. Softbank would be at a loss right now with the condition of Sprint. The company should at least attempt to shore itself up some and then put the feelers out for a buyer. Perhaps an agreement with Dish which is running out of time to use the spectrum they have. Didn’t they partner up along the coast of Texas to test high-speed internet/satellite?

    • xmiro

      he might but with all that debt and customer lossess it may not be easy to do it

  • So why not sell SPRINT to T-Mobile and show the Sprint people that ran that company into the ground to the unemployment line? If it remained T-Mobile and merged into TMo and not the other way around then I could see how it MIGHT benefit Tmo.Key word being MIGHT. But Legere would have to stay in the drivers seat and let Tmo keep doing whats it doing. The only benefit to TMo would really be the Towers. It would most certainly lose some of the Sprint Customer base,but Sprint’s doing that to itself anyways.

    • xmiro

      because regulators like 4 national carriers

  • guidomus_maximus


  • macman37

    Only now is Masayoshi Son opening his eyes a little wider and beginning to say to himself and Dan Hesse, “Oh no, I don’t want to end up paying a big break-up fee like AT&T if we continue to pursue this acquisition!! Let’s stop now and you Dan Hesse and your stupid Board of Directors and Shareholders resign, and get a new staff that will be making smarter decisions like my former employee John Legere at T-Mobile USA!!

    • Marcelo_L

      Two words. Sheer. Genius!

  • KingCobra

    Looks like Son underestimated regulators and consumers opposition to combining T-Mobile with the current mess that is Sprint. He doesn’t want to get hit with a massive breakup fee so he’s probably leaning towards not making an official offer at this point. He should focus on fixing Sprint before trying to acquire more carriers.

    I don’t buy the argument that he needs to economies of scale that a combined T-Mobile/Sprint would bring in order to compete. T-Mobile proved last year that if you build the network and come up with some innovative plans/pricing the customers will come. He wants to just buy his way into a level playing field with AT&T/VZW rather than working for it. Buying T-Mobile would put him in position to raise prices to near AT&T/VZW levels so that he can recoup the massive debt he incurred from buying Sprint more quickly.

    • Brad Gaboury

      But the at&t break up fee financed T-Mobile’s LTE network. Without that outside influx of cash tmus wouldn’t be in the position it is in now.

  • xmiro

    My prediction:
    1) Nothing happens after this
    2) Dish is brought in as 4th possible carrier
    3) Masayoshi Son will make some kind of offer to merge the networks which would save them both money due to reduced CAPEX – that way he & Sprint get immediate access to T-mobile’s network infrastructure, and T-Mobile gets access to near nationwide low-band spectrum. Then they bid jointly for 600Mhz if that even happens.
    4) Dish & Ergen throw a wrench and make an offer to buy T-Mobile, or lease their spectrum in some way

    Kind of like T-mobile and Orange in the Uk where they formed that unfortunately named EE, but without the brand merger just 2 entities running on 1 network and splitting the expences

    • vrm

      2) Dish is brought in as 4th possible carrier

      That WAS one of the PR/rumor floated around by W/S and Son. That they would somehow get dish to jump start as a 4th carrier; something dish hasn’t had time to do on their own. I suspect they would give them some spectrum. Certainly not customers as thats what sprint WANTS to grow. The towers ? I doubt it- sprint needs towers for their spectrum; besides, many of their towers are now in the hands of the likes of crown castle.

      Its possible that they presented this nonsensical scenario to FTC and they shot it down with the argument- if tmobile and sprint, well established players in the wireless carrier industry supposedly cannot survive on the own, what chance does a non-existent carrier like dish have ? It is not a proposal but a cruel joke.

  • amgot56

    What are the possibilities of Dish making a bid for T-mo if the Sprint-Tmo doesnt go through? is a Dish-Tmo deal good or bad?

    • theNewDanger

      Dish-Tmo is a bad idea.

  • Durandal_1707

    This was a good comment right up until the part where you decided to get racist for some reason with the “Asians are book smart” remark.

    • theNewDanger

      Then, he proceeded to justify that perception by suggesting action Son should somehow already know to take just because of said book smarts, as if book smarts always translated into business sense. Keep digging that hole, though …

      • mloudt

        I go to a Tier 1 university it’s called the University of Houston Main campus and if you google it it’s known for being the number 2 and maybe now number 1 diverse university in the nation. There is every type of race you can think of. So no I’m not being racial here and no where near prejudice by any means. I think people missed the point of my post the idea was that Son who happens to be Asian should not bid on T-mobile. And I mentioned the perception that most American people have of Asians to support my case in this business instance with Son. Just like if you go to another country people perceive us Americans as being lazy, arrogant, and pompus. Go to other countries and you will see that America eventhough we have made strides we still have more racism and prejudice than most other foreign countries.

        • Spanky

          “Go to other countries and you will see that America eventhough we have made strides we still have more racism and prejudice than most other foreign countries.”
          I’ve been to many other countries. Prejudice and racism in America is almost nonexistent, compared to the racism that exists elsewhere (particularly Europe).

        • Jon

          I don’t know what world you live in… But it is seen everyday on the nightly news here in NY. It is always negative news about minorities that are the top story while on the other hand someone does something nice and it gets 20 seconds of news coverage. Race baiting is very much alive and racism isn’t dead at all not even close it just isn’t shown openly in public.

  • theNewDanger

    Asians are known for being book smart? Not that any one race would be any more intelligent than another provided all were exposed to the same nuances of a society through every generation in the same way, but what the hell is this $hit? This isn’t about your stereotypical belief. It’s about business. Many times in M&A, book smarts are about as present as win/win/win (for employees/investors/customers).

  • Guess

    Dear Sprint,
    Why not take the 40 Billion you raised to buy T Mobile and fix your network?
    Sincerely the FCC

    • Marcelo_L

      I can hear the “Oh Snap!”, from here !

  • Spanky

    Dan Hesse is wearing a magenta tie in that photo. T-Mobile must be mobilizing their legal team as I’m typing this!

    • bob90210

      It’s not magenta, it’s plum colored.

      • Jon

        You’d think he would wear black and yellow neck ties to represent his company but I guess not. To me it looks more like reddish tint than plum.

  • Marc Klein

    Someone should just buy Sprint to take them out of their misery

  • theNewDanger


    • 16 hours ago−

    This is not that hard of a decision; Son you tried to persuade the FCC and DOJ and that failed. They were nice enough to imply the idea in your head that if you go ahead and announce this deal then it will basically get rejected. Asians are known for being book smart well it’s best you quit before you start as oppose to pulling out later when it will cost you billions in dollars and spectrum. Softbank/Sprint here is what you do for Plan B; do a reverse merger like T-mo did with Metro and sell some of your stock to Dish or buy them out right. DOJ and FCC will have way less scrutiny for that deal plus Dish’s spectrum compliments/neighbors Sprint’s spectrum anyway.”

    I’d hate to hear what your “perceptions” are on what Caucasiods, and Negroids are “known to be”?

    There is a such thing as being “positively” racist. Either way, YOUR perception is an outright stereotype. No perception being masked as a good comment can escape fitting what a stereotype looks like as you so clearly exhibited here. Just because your comment may cast a positive tone on a people through your self-proclaimed “good comment” does not exonerate your perception of an entire race from being unfounded. Doing so perpetuates a negative behavior. That’s like me furthering unfounded perceptions by saying, without knowing for a fact, that for every booksmart Asian, there may be an adversely illiterate Asian. I don’t know either your comment or mine to be true and won’t claim so, because, again, I don’t know. Therefore, prejudice probably fits you better. Would you rather be called prejudice? Yeah, let’s go with that …

    • Jon

      To his defense yes poor choice of words. But I do not see it as him intentionally trying to belittle anyone particular ethnic group. I think you are pouring it on a little too much.

      • theNewDanger

        A “poor choice of words” is only if there were a clear faux paux. There is no defense speaking about a race based on a stereotype – doing so is a negative behavior, whether what’s said or not is, on the surface, a positive phrase. There is no “pouring it on a little too much” by stating that fact. Thanks for your input, though.

  • Bklynman

    If you go to BGR today date,they show all the different awad Sprint won in 2013,some of them for the best exe.of year,best for cosumer,etc. I am not sprint fanboy in anyway,shape at all,just stating what I readed. Which I find kind surprising,since what I am reading on here from people that had sprint,that had nothing but prolems with them.

    • KingCobra

      Won from who? Sprint was easily the worst carrier last year. Loss tons of customers, tons of money, and network/customer service quality deteriorated.

      • Bklynman

        Go to BGR,in the seach box put in Sprint, the article will show up,
        the name of it is,Tmobile is not destorying Sprint afterall by Brad Reed. Today Feb. 11,2014. It has to do with there,and their full 2013 report. Not making this up.

        • philyew

          If you think about the companies making those awards and their categories, only one actually represents customer experience and that was from a global logistics company with 46,000 employees covering 160 countries. They therefore represent AT MOST less than 0.1% of Sprint’s customer base.

          Not that impressive at all, really.

        • Bklynman

          Ok,didn’t know that,not sure a which awards mean something or which ones donot.
          I thinks these companies are like who’s,who,there so many of them now
          do they really mean anything now? Thanks now that article makes sense. LoL.

  • Durandal_1707

    It’s perfectly obvious what you meant, and it was uncalled for.

  • Bklynman

    I have a question,even those it is off topic,why doesn’t Tmo have any midrange phones from HTC,like the Desire sold by Virgin? Yes I know they have F6 and F3 by Lg and the Light by Sammy,but the reviews I just read abou the Desire blow those phones out of the water. Thanks to all the ads now on here. Click on the ad,read the reviews.

  • Noel

    To Sprint/softBank…save those Billions you are gonna pay as a breakup fee cuz those ideas about Tmobile not gonna fly. Look for a smaller cell carrier instead…u will get ok from DOJ, FCC etc. But as a layman…i am certain what ever attempt Sprint/SoftBank put forward will be shot down, so they should just cut their losses now and save the agony that we all know lie ahead.

  • angcurry

    Tmobile should by Sprint , not Sprint trying to buy Tmobile. Tmobile know how to treat there customers and give their customers the best options. Sprint want T mobile because they know how to run the business and they need to learn from T mobile success . As for tmobile John Legere rocks!! and that is why tmobile is successful with out him they would of not got all this success that man knows how to run a successful company, good job Tmobile very smart move on hiring there CEO John Legere, hes the best!!

  • luis jimenez

    i don’t think this deal may go thru , i think it will just happen like att deal don’t pass t mobile will get another 4 billions the doj and the american people will vote against it.

  • Jon

    Lately there has been nothing but bad news first this and then Comcast trying to absorb Time Warner is there any relief in sight? Time Warner isn’t all that but they are looking better every minute when just thinking of Comcast is trying to get its greasy hands on TWC. I can say that things are looking good for T-Mobile but not so much for TWC.