SoftBank CEO reportedly still wants Sprint and T-Mobile merger


T-Mobile’s name has popped up as part of several possible mergers, including some with Sprint. None of those deals have actually panned out, but Sprint’s owner is holding out hope that one will.

Sources say that Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, wants to merge Sprint with T-Mobile. SoftBank currently owns more than 80 percent of Sprint. Bloomberg’s sources explain that if Son feels that the next head of the FCC would be responsive to a Sprint-T-Mo deal, Son would probably try to get a merger done.

Son was interested in buying T-Mobile and merging them with Sprint back in 2014. However, when U.S. Justice Department and FCC expressed concerns about such a deal, Son decided to abandon the effort.

There aren’t any deal talks currently happening between Sprint and T-Mobile because of the 600MHz spectrum auction’s quiet period.

T-Mobile surpassed Sprint to become the number three carrier in the U.S. right around one year ago. While Sprint has been putting up better numbers recently than it had been, it’s not matching the performance that T-Mo has had lately. Son would likely point to this situation if he were to try another Sprint-T-Mobile merger and suggest that a combined Sprint-Mo would be better competition to AT&T and Verizon than Sprint and T-Mobile would be separately.

Source: Bloomberg

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  • Daniel Holmstock

    what part of “hell no” do they not understand?

    • WalkmanJG

      Indeed, not only “no” but “hell no”…

  • Hurlamania

    That will never happen unless T-Mobile gets something from the going out of business sale. T-Mobile would bring itself down and ruin it’s momentum if it had anything to do with spirit. The refusal of the last 2 mergers prove the DOJ and FCC correct. Look where we are now in heavy competition of 4 major carriers and a 5th doing better. It’s a better Market for consumers never gonna merge 2 wireless providers.

  • Hurlamania

    sprint had a hard time getting money together last time I’d say the price has tripled at this point. Sprint is horrid and no one likes you go away.

  • Matt

    It is not advantageous for a Sprint-T-Mobile merger because there is a lot of overlapping coverage area. Plus, I doubt that it would pass anti-trust regulation. And finally, I don’t think Deutsche Telecom wants to inherit Sprint’s debt and structural problems.

    • Brad C

      Let Sprint file BK (they’ve already started the moves for this by “selling” everything to holding companies) – clear the debt, then absorb it into T-Mobile. Kill the CDMA and have LTE on 700/800/1700/1900/2500. No reason they could not keep unlimited data as well as do some home broadband that’s reasonably priced as well with that kind of spectrum.

  • jj201367

    No way

  • RustyShackleford716

    No thanks, I left Sprint for a reason, not to be forced back in with them….

  • Alex Zapata

    Someone’s feeling buyer’s remorse…….

  • jonathan3579

    I don’t want to hear it unless there’s a guarantee that prices will drop and not increase.

    • Matt

      I doubt that this will happen … anti-trust issues

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    Except T-Mobile is much bigger than Sprint these days. As well as much more advanced (Hey Sprint, WiFi Calling? VoLTE? No, huh?)

    • Brad C

      Sprint does have WiFi calling, it’s just not as good (cannot hand off due to no VoLTE)

  • lomsha

    Please stay away.

  • Rob H.

    Merge Sprint with US Cellular instead.

    • Richard Darrington

      That’s a better idea they need each other much more. Then it us Cellular could have real us coverage

  • rosedawg

    As others have said: NO! GO AWAY! We don’t want you messing up what is working.

  • tony

    dont merge with sprint sprint service is garbage.

    • TechnoRealz

      We just want SPCS’s spectrum,pipes & towers.

  • tony

    you thought hspa speed was bad at 4 mb per second download on t mobile? try 0.17 mb download speed on sprint 3g network

    • Brad C

      I say let T-Mobile absorb Sprint.. Kill the CDMA and refarm all of Sprint’s spectrum for LTE. 700/800MHz for LTE would be killer in rural areas (and be feasible for VoLTE)

      Having LTE on 700/800/1700/1900/2500 would absolutely kill everyone else capacity wise – and as Legere has shown he’s capable of growing a network and doing it fast.

      • Matt

        The extra spectrum would be nice but it would never pass regulation.

        • Brad C

          Depends on who is in office next. If republicans get in, you bet your a** it’ll be approved no problem.

        • Matt

          Well, Hillary is also pro-corporate so….

        • Baxter DeBerry

          Be nice if she left wheeler in though. We know that wouldnt happen with the cable industry backing her.

  • Critic4U

    LOL they want to merge T-Mobile into sprint, they must be smoking some really good stuff over there last time I checked T-Mobile was worth way more than sprint. I think it would be more like merging sprint into T-Mobile and say goodbye to sprint.

  • kev2684

    Softbank bought the wrong Wireless company lol

    • Elier Ruiz

      That’s right , they did.

    • Ascertion

      I agree, to an extent. Sprint’s wireless spectrum assets are still incredibly valuable. They just need to deploy it already.

  • Drewski

    What is Sprint Smoking over there?????? Rotflmmfaooooooo Not gonna happen Sprint. This merger is not going to get approved Period. Goodbye Sprint and leave us the hell alone.

  • Hugo Garcia

    T-mobile is on route to compete with att and verizon on its own in the future, no need for sprint, softbank can “sprint” on outta here lol

  • Softey

    Softbank, why don’t you buy AT&T or Verizon instead and leave T-Mobile alone!

    • enkay1

      That’s not possible lol

      • lomsha

        Those are yuuuuge

  • emcdonald75

    Son is right that T-Mobile and Sprint together would make better competition to Verizon and AT&T, but he is forgetting that although Sprint has spectrum that T-Mobile could use to enhance it’s network, Sprint also has a ton of debt that would hurt T-Mobile financially. T-Mobile does need a financial backer because at this point, T-Mobile US is actually pulling Deutsche Telecom based on DK’s last financial quarterly report. Honestly, T-Mobile US could do better with just the 600MHz spectrum from the current auction + Dish Network’s AWS-3 and AWS-4 spectrum added to their own AWS-3 purchases than any Sprint and T-Mobile tie-up, the more I think about the combined network technology problems, management and administrative issues a merger may cause.

  • guest

    The only way this would pan out would be if Spring filed for bankruptcy and T-mobile got approval from the FCC to buy back their assets through financial backing from SoftBank. At that point, it wouldn’t be a Sprint/T-mobile merger it would be a bail out.

    • Matt

      Sprint should go Chapter 7 and T-Mobile should buy up Sprint’s assets. Sprint is dead.

      • guest

        Agree 100%

  • gmo8492

    If Son is going to use the argument that T-Mobile isn’t competitive by itself, well I’m sorry to say that it’s already been disproven. The Next head of the FCC would have to be the most corrupt cooperate puppet in order to have this merger go through. There will also be plenty of protests about this merger by other government agencies as well. The only reason he wants this merger to go through is that this will probably save Sprints struggling business. He would have a better time trying to poach John Legere as their next CEO. Sprint has been trying to reinvent itself way too many times, it should just focus on trying get off CDMA tech and launch all the available spectrum it has left to be competitive.

  • Mariano Moreira

    I don’t see FCC ever letting merger through.

    Google Project Fi is about as close as and T-Mobile + Sprint merger will ever get.(Basically using T-Mobile coverage except where Sprint Roaming covers outskirts and the few areas Spark LTE is faster than T-Mobile… literally best of both)

    Sprint still has spectrum tied up with lingering Wi-Max….ugh

    Once the Major carriers (read Verizon, At&t, and T-Mobile) start pushing for VoLTE as primary. Then as Sprint plays catch-up utilizing Spectrum and aggregation, they might finally shine.

    You would think Softbank would realize the mess they cleaned -up with Nextel & Wi-Max incompatibility that acquiring a conflicting Network type would a No-No.
    (Sprint was basically crippled by rebuilding their entire network….why do it again?)

    • Philip

      They let Delta merge with Northwest and United with Continental, etc. Why not with phones?

      • Mariano Moreira

        For Phone Network (Carrier) type , I am assuming the issue brought on by At&t and T-Mobile merge where it leaves a Monopoly on GSM. In this case it is either a Monopoly for GSM (At&t vs T-Mobile)or CDMA (Verizon vs Sprint). You combine any of those two Carriers and I leaves a current Cell type as only having one major carrier.

        In my opinion it would be like letting Intel buy AMD and this not really have a competitor. SRP and APS merger?

        I think once VoLTE becomes the voice standard and CDMA becomes a by-gone era, then a possible merger could be on the table. At that time it should be 4 Carriers competing with a similar Tech(LTE only), thus instead of a combination of 2GSMvs2CDMA hyrbids it would be a Carrier free for all as 4-way fight using same wireless tech.

        • Drewski

          You sound creepy. T-Mobile isn’t going anywhere.

        • Mariano Moreira

          I concur. I didn’t say T-Mobile was going anywhere.

          They are one of the Big 3…as far as I am concerned they are here to stay.

      • Adrayven

        First, because Airlines have international competition in the USA and abroad to help keep prices reasonably low. Their is NO other competition other than ATT/Verizon in the USA.

        Thats not changing any time soon. Better to let Sprint DIE than merge the 2 and then end up tanking both. Thats what the consumer market is about! Let the strong survive.

        Besides, both the DoJ and the FCC were against this merger.. really don’t see that changing..

  • James Miles

    This would be a huge mistake. I hate sprint customer service is horrible and there lack of vision will only ruin Tmobile.

    • Baxter DeBerry

      Sprints C’s is a bunch of bull. Always the same remarks on a paper. Can’t get the company to acknowledge a network issue in my town. It’s literally been this way for 10 years. When I got FP one of my devices I thought it was fixed. Nope and still won’t ever be.

  • Dracono

    Or Softbank can just start investing in making Sprint a better company like T-mobile has done over the years.

    Also stop treating it like a subsidy and drop the Sprint name, it’s already toxic.

    • jtrpop

      Softbank said they would improve Sprint when they first invested in them many years ago. How’d that work out?

  • FILA

    We dont want them, go away!

  • Leonard Gainer

    Merge Sprint into T-mobile. Combine the networks, turn CDMA into t-mobiles network– GSM based. Name the whole company T-Mobile and keep John Legere! Thats the way it should go.

  • Joe Coffee Tech

    JL was hired to turn TMO around, take it public, and sell the company to the highest bidder. It’s time to move on to the next assignment.

    • Drewski

      Goodbye Hater. That is a lie. John Legere is going no where. Dream on troll.

      • tony

        o is that why sprint stock is junk, my t mo stock went up again.

        • samsung freud

          That’s it!!
          All the TMO customers who now have stock can vote against a merger!!
          Oh wait a minute, I didn’t exercise that option because the tax preparation was going to cost me more than the stock was worth.
          Never mind.
          I hope Tom Wheeler and his crew are on top of this.

    • Baxter DeBerry

      You must be someone that owns stock in the big two. So all I have to say to is one day they will pay the pipper.

  • AnthonyReyes

    I thought in mergers the more successful one buys the unsuccessful one.

    • One Digital

      You don’t have to be the better company to buy another. All you need to be is well-funded. Masayoshi Son is a master at financing investments.

      • Baxter DeBerry

        Ya he reminds me of some in the cable industry. Like Malone or altice owner drahi

    • bronxboi

      Not necessarily, look at Continental and United.

  • (J²)

    The FCC and DOJ have saved T-Mobile from acquisition twice and there efforts have paid off tremendously. There’s no arguing it anymore, T-Mobile is the industry leader, while still being smaller than some of its competitors. This carrier has changed the industry own its own.

    Sprint is struggling because it seems that the carrier can’t pick a direction and stick to it. It seems that the carrier can’t determine if it wants to follow Verizon or T-Mobile. Subscribe churn will continue to be an issue because the carrier is unable to attract and KEEP customers.

    Sprint also has a long history of making bad decisions and purchases. If Duetche Telekom (T-Mobile’s parent company) were to attempt to purchase Sprint from Soft Bank (very unlikely) the FCC and DOJ would most likely be on board because T-Mobile has a proven track record.

    Just look at recent TV provider transactions. Companies with horrible reputations tend to receive more opposition from the FCC and DOJ.

  • Guest

    We don’t need a merger between two of the four big carriers, that will be bad for everyone because it will reduce competition and you know what happens then. That’s a fact. If you don’t agree you’re wrong.

  • stacey.hill

    I basically make close to 6000-8000 dollars /month for freelancing at home. So if you are looking to do basic online work for 2h-5h each day at your home and earn valuable payment in the same time… Then this opportunity is for you… TR.IM/SEG8g

  • Richard Darrington

    If that happen they’d have so much spectrum it would be crazy

    • Jason Caprio

      Not really. most of Sprint’s network overlaps with T-Mobile’s. It wouldn’t expand their coverage however it would most likely allow some crazy Carrier Aggregation with the different bands together.

      • Baxter DeBerry

        The speeds would be huge by far

    • marque2

      Donald and Hillary?

      • MisterSuperGod

        Could you imagine the offspring from that unholy union? *shudders*

    • SirStephenH

      They’d probably have to sell some off to get approval by the government.

  • T-Mobile represents all that I like in business. Innovation, smart people, disruption. Sprint represents everything I dislike… tone deaf management, old technology, culture of failure. They’re total opposites and I’d be sad if they merged. It’d be like Hillary marying Donald. Just makes no sense.

    • jtrpop

      Well, Hillary did go to Trump’s wedding.

  • Daniel Darnell

    I don’t have an issue with it and Sprint covers some rural coverage here better than T-Mobile and has a little bit better indoor coverage to. At least around here T-Mobile plus Sprint coverage would be great.

  • jtrpop

    No no no. Softbank took majority stock in Sprint many years ago and did nothing with it. They promised huge upgrades, didn’t deliver, and were behind 1-2 years last I checked. T-Mobile has done a major successful turn around in the last 5 years, and Sprint/Softbank wants in on what they were unable to do.

    • bronxboi

      Do you have any idea what you are talking about. Sprint’s service has progressed by leaps and bounds. Their data service is now reliable and quite fast, solid voice connections. better overall coverage than Tmobile and their pricing has gotten a bit better. I am not sure where you are getting your information.

      • jtrpop

        The documenting the slow or delayed Spring 4g rollout over the past few years as well as the fact that Sprint has dropped to 4th place and the carrier posted less revenue and lost more money than a year ago.

        • bronxboi

          Again, they have gained tremendous traction in the last year. Please look at current information and speak with people that actually have the service before commenting and disparaging them.

    • calvin200

      Yes, there was slow progress and sprint is still not where they should be, but an improvement none the less. I noticed how customers was mentioned as the metric for showing improvement. In reality there is actual data on how networks rank. Sprint is third and TMo is fourth. No I’m not happy with Sprint’s progress but I know where they rank.

  • Baxter DeBerry

    This happens then I pray total wireless, or cricket are still kicking. Cause sprint wars to charge as much as Verizon yet has the worst C’s and services here.

  • ronjon400

    sprint calls t-mobile ghetto now this…..that just goes to show you sprint has zero direction

  • jtrpop

    Slow 4g rollout behind the other 3 carriers ( And they dropped from 3rd to 4th place (

    • bronxboi

      You do realize that Wimax was the first 4g data service in the nation. They came out before everyone else. They had to do it so that they would not lose the spectrum and LTE was not ready at the time of deployment. Yes, they had some missteps but your looking at a dated article and, as I said before, they are a totally different carrier than they were even a year ago. I have been with them since 1997 so I KNOW what I am talking about. Peace.

      • calvin200

        They seem like they are in a holding program. The funds to make it what it was promised just are not coming.