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Sprint CEO confirms desire to buy T-Mobile in television interview

updated 09:34 am EDT, Tue March 11, 2014

Deal likely to be halted by US regulators, but effort will be made anyhow

In a television interview with PBS's Charlie Rose, Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son declared that he was interested in buying T-Mobile. Citing "steps and details" that have yet to be negotiated, the executive claimed that he "would like to have the real fight, OK? Not the pseudo fight, the real fight" with competitors AT&T and Verizon.

Sources familiar with the situation claim that Sprint has already sought advice from the industry on how to proceed. Banks have already been contacted for financing arrangements, as well as antitrust authorities queried for potential roadblocks to any such offer.

Son's SoftBank purchased Sprint in 2013, and was met by heavy scrutiny from regulators. Executives from both Sprint and T-Mobile suggested to the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission on February 3 that a deal between the pair would result in better terms for consumers, as well as more competition with the heavy hitters in the US -- AT&T and Verizon.

Son is in Washington, DC to make a presentation to the National Chamber of Commerce, to discuss broadband's role in invention and education, as well as the state of the US wireless industry. His remarks are likely to echo sentiments he espoused in February about the US, when he was quoted as saying that "every time I make a business trip to the US, I am reminded how terrible connections are there" and also decrying the the mobile fee structure in the US.

The executive isn't optimistic about being allowed to pursue the merger, despite Time Warner Cable and Comcast's deal, leading to the pair of cable companies entering the wireless market. Despite the factors weighing against a merger, the executive told Rose in the interview that "we have to give it a shot."

by MacNN Staff



  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-10-01

    I see two issues with this: Sprint has an incompatible network with T-Mobile. Sprint did this when they bought out NextTel. They spent a lot of money merging NextTel IDEN network with their CDMA network. The costs ended up being so much money, that Sprint almost folded. I also can't see the FCC approving knocking down the number of the major carriers from 4 to 3.

    I suspect that Dish has a better chance with T-Mobile.

  1. Alann

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-27-10

    Impressive guy. That the US ranks 15th in internet quality and speed thanks to market domination by two status-quo giants, only proves that our political system is not the only dysfunctional system in the US.

  1. RightNow

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-11-14

    @qazwart I'd say that's less of a concern than it was with Nextel as both networkings are moving forward with LTE at this point. Most smart phones have the ability to work on either GSM or CDMA now in any event. It would simply be a matter of making sure the proper bands were on their phones.

    I don't see it happening regardless of any possible issues. While many countries focus on 3 major competitors and many regional ones, I think we'll stick with 4 at the moment.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-23-02

    One loser company buying another loser company...

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