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SoftBank Is Willing To Cede Control of Sprint To Get T-Mobile Merger Done, Says Report (phonedog.com) 28

According to Reuters, SoftBank is willing to cede control of Sprint to make a T-Mobile-Sprint merger happen. The company controls 83 percent of Sprint, but it'd reportedly be willing to surrender control of Sprint and retain a minority stake in a merger with T-Mobile. PhoneDog reports: It's said that SoftBank is growing frustrated with Sprint's lack of major growth in the U.S. market, and so it wants to merge with T-Mobile in order to better compete with Verizon and ATT. No talks between SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom are currently happening because of the FCC's 600MHz spectrum auction that prevents collusion between competing companies. Once the auction ends in April, though, it's expected that SoftBank will approached Deutsche Telekom about a deal.
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SoftBank Is Willing To Cede Control of Sprint To Get T-Mobile Merger Done, Says Report

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  • They'd rather hold a minority stake in something good than a majority stake in something crappy!

    It all comes down to two things - who has the most network bandwidth, and who has the most cellular bandwidth. Or just one thing - who can deliver the most bandwidth?

    FCC allocates cellular (radio frequency) bandwidth in the US. Backbone (network) bandwidth? That's strictly a matter of investing in infrastructure, so . . . who owns (or is owned by) how many politico's in power?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sprint has FAR more spectrum than T-Mobile...especially since the acquisition of the 2500mhz spectrum from Clear. What they lack is customers.

      • What they lack is customers.

        That is because they're an awful anti-consumer organization from a bygone era. Why do you think T-Mobile has been pounding them in the dirt ever since they started this whole "Uncarrier" thing?

        If T-Mobile is allowed to be absorbed by some monolithic giant disconnected from its consumer base then I'm cancelling my subscription with T-Mobile. Should this happen it'll be a huge step backward for the cellular market, but heh if you can't beat 'em then just buy 'em out with an offer they can't refuse, right?

      • i have a pretty sweet deal with metro pcs who is basicly owned by t-mobile. i hope they dont fuck that up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, it comes down to why T-Mobile would freaking want Sprint and the baggage Sprint brings.

      Sprint doesn't attract customers because, aside from bandwidth, they haven't been able to beat T-Mobile on anything enough for people to move to them. People generally with T-Mobile are actually happy with T-Mobile; they put up with the lack of bandwidth because T-Mobile is perceived as a better customer service and having better plans and policies company.

      And T-Mobile needs to be careful. Sure, they'll get Sprint's

    • Question is - for the pre-4G stuff - like when one is travelling in areas that don't have 4G, which standard will the phones follow - CDMA or GSM?

  • There goes my dream of sexy Japanese phones.like more Sharp Aquos phones or Fujitsu Arrows.
  • Growth Mania (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Princeofcups ( 150855 ) <john@princeofcups.com> on Friday February 17, 2017 @07:07PM (#53889721) Homepage

    "SoftBank is growing frustrated with Sprint's lack of major growth in the U.S. market"

    What is wrong is a stable successful profitable company? It seems that everyone thinks that a company that isn't growing every year is not a good company. There's plenty of wealth and resources on this planet for everyone. The end goal is not to have one winner who owns everything.

    • by Halueth ( 776646 )
      Duncan MacLeod might disagree on this one ;-)
    • I believe that's the point-- that "there's plenty of wealth and resources on this planet for everyone." If you're not working to create more wealth through growth then you're being left behind. When you get complacent and fail to grow (i.e. innovate), your competitors will eventually cut into your market and you lose. See A&P, IBM, etc. Fortune 500 1955 [fortune.com] (Hint-- many of those no longer exist).
  • the whole point is competition. You're still effectively (and massively) reducing competition. What's more, this leaves them open to an AT&T style buy back scheme where they skirt around the rules.
  • by RubberDogBone ( 851604 ) on Friday February 17, 2017 @09:00PM (#53890161)

    T-Mobile doesn't need to be contaminated with a wireless carrier STD, which is what Sprint is these days. Sure the booty may be cheap but you don't want it.

    Taking some of Sprint's spectrum might be nice.

    But T-Mobile seems to be doing well with the spectrum they have and the customers they have, and gain, every quarter. All T-Mobile has to do to be successful is stay on the path. Buying Sprint would take them off that path and put them on a new one where they have two networks to deal with and two probably very different customer bases and two sets of retail stores and all the other overlap. It is a huge risk to T-Mobile that this will derail their success and instead saddle them with Sprint's mess.

    See what happened to Time Warner after it bought AOL. Two valued and successful companies now both worth a fraction of their prior values. They didn't sum. They subtracted.

  • Where's the competition if everyone is buddies with each other? Doesn't this kill innovation?
  • The reason this should not happen are exactly the same as when AT&T wanted to buy T-Mobile -- there would be one less cell phone company, meaning less choice for consumers and competition among carriers.

    The recent activity on "Unlimited" plans (T-Mobile makes one with some dumb restrictions, Verizon makes another that's a little more expensive, but without those limitations, T-Mobile comes back with less restrictions than before to compete, Sprint comes out with a new plan, AT&T says "me too" becaus

  • You know what ALWAYS comes after a merger? Massive lay-offs. There's no reason to merge two companies if they have just as high costs as when they were operating separately, so eliminating now-redundant jobs is the key reason mergers happen. Approving that is going to make Trump look very, very bad.

    The merger was always an idiotic idea... Sprint and T-Mobile have no technology in common, nor do their services complement each other in ANY way... Nearly all the company's towers are deployed in proximity

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