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Unread 2017-09-27, 12:30 PM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solomon View Post
Sounds like the Sprint campus will be luxury apartments by 2019. Guess it's time to start job hunting.
And leased office space.

The Sprint name will be history soon, all thanks to Gary Forsee and the Nextel debacle.
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Unread 2017-09-27, 02:28 PM   #202
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How a T-Mobile-Sprint merger would hurt consumers




It isn’t just T-Mobile and Sprint customers who would feel the effects of such a deal



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While a deal between Sprint Corp. S, -0.38% and T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS, -0.57% could be beneficial for the companies’ bottom lines, experts say it would likely be a bum deal for consumers.
There was yet more speculation Tuesday suggesting that the mobile companies are in talks to merge after Bloomberg originally reported “informal contact” between the two companies last May. Before that, discussions were on hold until late April due to the government’s spectrum auction (where the government sells the rights for companies to transmit signals over certain bands of the electromagnetic spectrum).
But a merger between the two companies wouldn’t just result in changes for their customers. It would likely usher in industrywide changes that would affect consumers of various carriers across the country, telecom analysts say. “It would be devastating for consumers in the long run,” said Chris Mills, news editor at BGR, a news website focused on mobile technology and consumer electronics. (Sprint and T-Mobile didn’t respond to request for comment.)
Here are some of the major ways that wireless customers could be affected:
A merger would likely eliminate Sprint’s low-cost alternative
T-Mobile and Sprint were both in dire straits not too long ago, but have managed to make comebacks based on lower pricing and more attractive offers to potential customers, said Jeff Kagan, an industry analyst. In particular, Sprint has positioned itself as the lowest-cost carrier among the top 4 carriers (which also include Verizon VZ, +0.08% and AT&T T, +0.25% .)

At Sprint, an unlimited plan for data, talk and text for four lines starts at $50 a month not including devices, according to wireless comparison site WhistleOut. Similar plans start at $60 per month from AT&T and $75 per month from T-Mobile and Verizon, not including upfront fees.
If the number of major carriers were to shrink from four to three, it’s unlikely a low-cost option would remain, Mills said, pointing to Canada as an example. “You’ll end up with three great carriers with expensive data plans,” he said.
In Canada, there are only three major wireless carriers — Bell, Rogers and Telus — and their plans are priced basically the same due to the reduced level of competition, according to mobile news website iMore.
And it’s unlikely that a regional wireless carrier would be able to rise up and fill the hole left by Sprint. “If Sprint goes away, you’re starting from scratch trying to build out a network,” Mills said. “That’s really difficult because of spectrum licensing and the cost of building a network.”
Unlimited plans could also be threatened by this merger
Additionally, the future of unlimited plans would not be guaranteed. Unlimited plans first came on the scene with the introduction of the smartphone, but eventually fell out of favor because network speeds were being slowed down. Recently though, these offerings re-emerged as a way to attract more new customers.
However, if competition is reduced as a result of a merger, customer acquisition may not be a priority for wireless carriers. Canada, again as an example, doesn’t have unlimited plans. And if just one of the three remaining major carriers were to eliminate their unlimited option it could cause a domino effect, Kagan said. “If other carriers pulled out, Verizon would definitely pull out,” he said.
Service could improve — but you might need a new phone
Theoretically, Sprint customers would see a boost in network coverage as a result of the merger — as evidenced by the coverage maps put together by analytics firm RootMetrics. While the companies have a high degree of overlap in the areas they serve, the map would still be expanded. Plus, Sprint holds a large number of spectrum licenses it’s not using, and a merged company might have the means to build those out to improve coverage.
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Unread 2017-10-03, 10:46 PM   #203
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Guess which CEO is coming to Kansas City?










T-Mobile US Inc. CEO John Legere recently made a trip to Kansas City, and it probably was for more than the barbecue. As rumored merger talks between Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile (Nasdaq: TMUS) heat up, Legere tweeted Sunday that he would be stopping by the City of Fountains.
Upupandaway Goodbye NJ.... Kansas City here I Come! Can’t wait to see @TMobile teams! pic.twitter.com/NWp7hEDH9l
John Legere (@JohnLegere) October 1, 2017
Sprint (NYSE: S) could not confirm whether Legere also would visiting its Overland Park campus. But as the previously combative tone between him and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has turned more amicable of late, it's easy to imagine the two of them talking.
In late September, Reuters reported that Sprint and T-Mobile were nearing a deal and might have one by the end of October. The terms, according to anonymous sources, would give T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG, a majority stake in the combined entity through a stock-for-stock deal. Legere is expected to lead the combination.
Whether Sprint and T-Mobile can reach terms that satisfy both companies' shareholders, as well as pass antitrust regulations, remains to be seen.


Sprint/T-Mobile merger: scouting a likely HQ

[IMG]https://media.bizj.us/view/img/10361580/elsie-r*90xx2405-3206-413-600.png[/IMG]






Sprint Corp. may no longer call Overland Park home if it merges with its magenta competitor.
Although an approved deal with T-Mobile US Inc. is far from certain, the two telcos are expected to reach terms for a stock-for-stock transaction by the end of October, according to recent reports.


“At this point, I’m expecting them to get together and make an offer,” said Jeff Kagan, an Atlanta-based wireless analyst. “The big question is what’s going to happen next. Are regulators going to agree or not? Then, what will happen with the headquarters? All of these mergers take time.”
It’s not the first time the question has come up. At one point, Kagan said, it was thought that Sprint (NYSE: S) might move its headquarters to Silicon Valley, where Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure would meet with Masayoshi Son, Sprint's chairman and SoftBank Group Corp. CEO. But the idea has fallen out of favor.
In the case of a T-Mobile/Sprint combination, with Deutsche Telekom as the primary owner (as media reports suggest), Kagan said the headquarters probably would shift to the Seattle area, where T-Mobile (Nasdaq: TMUS) employs 6,800. By comparison, Sprint employed 6,000 in Overland Park as of July, according to a Kansas City Business Journal survey.
“I don’t think it would change immediately, but I think there would be changes over time,” Kagan said. “They don’t need two HQs. That’s one of the benefits of merging.”
Sprint already has leased out portions of its 3.9 million-square-foot campus, starting in the late 2000s after its rocky merger with Nextel Communications. Sprint opened up 750,000 square feet of office space around that time, which was quickly snapped up by FishNet Security, J.P. Morgan Retirement Services and KeyBank Real Estate Capital.
In December, CBRE Group Inc.’s Kansas City office listed two five-story buildings for lease on Sprint’s campus, for a total 284,000 square feet. And just last week, the company posted a listing for 254,482 square feet, available by December 2018. In total, Sprint is leasing about seven buildings on its campus.
“I think they’ll maintain primary operations in both Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s headquarters,” said Angelo Zino, a senior industry equity analyst at New York-based CFRA Research. “One thing you will see with an acquisition is significant cuts. One of the main reasons Sprint and T-Mobile are looking for a deal are the potential synergies you can get out of a combination. It would also probably help with stabilization from a pricing standpoint.”
Sealing the deal

Before the two companies can begin hashing out plans for a headquarters, a potential deal still would need regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. With Ajit Pai reconfirmed Monday for another term as FCC chairman, analysts expect a better shot at a deal than under the previous administration.
However, the FCC’s recent report confirming “effective competition” in the wireless industry also could work against a Sprint/T-Mobile merger.
“I was much more certain of it being allowed before the FCC came out with their recent statement that there’s effective competition in the wireless industry for the first time in many years,” Kagan said. “At best, it’s now harder to win approval now that the FCC says there’s competition.”
Zino estimated the odds of approval about 50-50. Although it would be difficult to pass, it’s still the best shot the two companies have had for a merger in the past five years. He expects Sprint and T-Mobile to announce a deal around the next earnings period.
“At this point, Sprint has looked at most of their options with cable providers and probably established the fact that their best opportunity is going to come from T-Mobile. They’re trying to iron everything out here with how this deal is going to be structured,” Zino said. “I would anticipate … some sort of announcement here in the coming weeks. But you never know; it doesn’t take much for these things to fall apart.”
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Unread 2017-10-03, 10:50 PM   #204
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What’s Going on With the Rumored, Not Good T-Mobile and Sprint Merger





Image Sources: Sprint, T-Mobile
For weeks, reports have steadily confirmed that Sprint and T-Mobile are in negotiations to merge their businesses into a telecom behemoth as soon as the end of October. Previous merger attempts have been thwarted by regulators but analysts are predicting this time around that things could be different. Here’s everything you need to know about what’s going on, and what this could mean for your wireless service.

The history

This story may sound familiar because similar mergers involving both parties were killed during the Obama administration. Back in 2011, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rejected a proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. Technically, it wasn’t so much a rejection as it was the beginning of the rejection process, and the two parties decided to withdraw their application before records about the potential effects of the merger could be made public in an antitrust case filed by the DOJ. The fact that these companies didn’t want the public to know about the merger’s potential impact should give everyone a bit of pause. The DOJ argued that despite the companies’ claims, this wouldn’t be good for competition and would essentially turn the market into two players: Verizon and AT&T/T-Mobile.
Notice that DOJ wasn’t considering Sprint to be a viable competitor in that equation. Sprint wasn’t doing so great at that time. While it’s still in a distant fourth place, in 2012 it was on bankruptcy watch. Sprint’s parent company, Softbank, and T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, started flirting with a merger based on the argument that neither telecom would survive without combined strength. In 2014, Softbank execs concluded that regulators wouldn’t allow the deal to go through, and they waved the white flag.
Did regulators do the right thing?

The thing is that in all these situations, the companies were complaining that they just couldn’t be competitive without a merger and in every case they figured the situation out. AT&T insisted that it needed to merge with T-Mobile because it wanted to rapidly expand its 4G coverage to keep up with Verizon. T-Mobile was floundering and insisted it needed a lifeline. Likewise, Sprint was failing and warning the government that it could go under without T-Mobile. All of these companies have done well for themselves since the DOJ and FCC didn’t believe them.





To be fair, T-Mobile got a nice cash injection when the AT&T deal fell through and the latter company had to pay out a previously agreed $4 billion breakup penalty, the largest of its kind in history. Since then, T-Mobile has gotten its act together, set the standards for unlimited data, surpassed growth expectations, and apparently built the fastest network. Meanwhile, AT&T has grown to be the world’s biggest telecom company with $163 billion in annual sales. The big bad Verizon boogeyman has had a 4.3 percent drop in sales and its profits fell by 25 percent in 2016.
Even Sprint has rebounded a bit. It’s pricing for existing customers hasn’t changed much but it has given people on other networks a pretty enticing option to switch with an offer of unlimited data for a year. Its stock has almost tripled since February of 2016. And it has been bragging that the wireless spectrum it’s been sitting on will be very valuable as higher speed networks become standard and can finally take advantage of it.
Long story short, regulators told the companies to tough it out, and they managed to do just that. Competition, even in this limited field, kind of works.
Why is now a good time for a merger?

To put it most simply, Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States based on a populist campaign that promised to stick up for the little guy but everyone in the business world knew that was total bullshit. Who knows what Trump himself believes, but his cronies are a bunch of robber barons who want to “unleash” the American economy by giving the wealthiest people tax breaks and raising rates for the poor, increasing energy production by destroying the environment, and allowing enormous companies like telecoms to write the rules. Why would this administration block a merger?





In fact, if it were up to Trump-himself, you could consider it practically approved. Back in December, Softbank’s founder and CEO Masayoshi Son met with Trump and gave the attention-hungry president-elect the chance to falsely claim credit for a $50 billion dollar investment in the US coming from the Japanese company. Softbank’s investment had already been planned at least as early as October of 2016. Fortunately, when it comes to a Sprint and T-Mobile merger, the easily manipulated Trump doesn’t get the final say.
Unfortunately, the agencies that will be reviewing the deal seem inclined to allow big business to do whatever it wants with limited scrutiny. Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez resigned in February, leaving just two of the five positions on the FTC’s governing board filled. Ramirez was reportedly “urged to leave” due to the perception that she is tough on antitrust issues.
And the new head of the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice, Makan Delrahim, was finally confirmed on September 27th. Delrahim is expected to be fairly lax on antitrust enforcement and according to the New York Times, his philosophy is, “A monopoly is perfectly legal until it abuses its monopoly power.” Robber barons, start your engines!
Based on his track record so far, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is unlikely to oppose the merger unless his former bosses/corporate masters at Verizon can influence his decision.
Who’s the top dog in this deal?

In 2014, it was Sprint that was looking to buy T-Mobile, but the tables have turned in three years. This time around, T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom would be running the show if a merger goes through. And most reports indicate that the loud-mouthed T-Mobile CEO John Legere will be sticking around. And why wouldn’t he? Legere may be irritating, but he’s turned the company around, and he keeps T-Mobile’s aggressive attacks on competitors in the spotlight through his over-the-top social media presence. The biggest question is whether Legere will keep pushing his customer-first approach once he’s less of an underdog.
Some financial analysts also believe T-Mobile could sit back and miss the reported October merger target, while it waits for Sprint’s stock (which many observers believe is overvalued) to fall in price.
(Gizmodo reached out to both carriers for comment. Both declined.)

T-Mobile CEO John Legere is expected to stay on. Photo: Getty
What does this mean for customers?

This is, of course, the biggest question. In the broadest terms, you have to ask yourself if you’d rather have four options or three. Most people would say the more options, the better. And they’d be right. As we’ve seen just in the last few years, when AT&T and Verizon killed their unlimited data plans (Verizon going so far as to say customers “don’t need” unlimited data), T-Mobile came roaring to life by offering the thing that everyone wanted. Generally, you can chalk up T-Mobile’s success to doing the opposite of its competitors and offering no-credit-check options, eliminating hidden fees, and other moves that earned it the name “Uncarrier.”
Sprint customers might see some new options coming from the T-Mobile world, and T-Mobile customers could get access to “premium” content on Jay-Z’s music streaming service Tidal, in which Sprint is a 33 percent stakeholder.
Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler and former assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, Bill Baer, co-authored an op-ed for CNBC in May contending prices will surely rise for everyone if a merger is allowed to pass. They wrote:
Prices for wireless service — where there are four vigorous national competitors — are down nearly 13 percent in the past year, according to the latest CPI report from the Labor Department. Compare that with cable prices, where a lack of competition has allowed prices to increase 5 percent in the same time period.
The one area that seems likely to make this a good thing for existing customers is that coverage and speed will increase with the combined networks. You can see a map of T-Mobile and Sprint’s combined spectrum holdings here and Verizon’s spectrum holdings here for comparison. The newly-boosted T-Mobile will be giving competitor a fight in every respect.
What’s the argument for a merger?


We don’t know what exact arguments Sprint and T-Mobile will make in their filings with the federal government if they do decide to go through with a merger. We do know that they’ll likely emphasize that this somehow increases competition in the telecom arena and helps create jobs. Most of these arguments won’t have much merit. But one key question will have to be considered: Can Sprint survive?
Much of the focus is likely to be placed on Sprint’s viability in the near future. As we said, Sprint has managed to turn things around over the last few years and its enterprise value is currently sitting around $63 billion. T-Mobile has an enterprise value of $79 billion, but it’s not dealing with the same debt issues that Sprint has. Throughout Sprint’s resurgence, analysts have vocally acknowledged that things look better on paper for the company due to changes to its accounting approach that allow for it to show year-over-year growth. Meanwhile, Sprint has been racking up billions in debt by mortgaging off assets to raise cash. In just one instance, last October, the telecom put up a portion of its 2.5-GHz and 1.9-GHz spectrum valued at $16.4 billion in order to raise $3.5 billion in cash that will help cover the $10 billion in debt that will come due in the next three years.
That spectrum is very important for Sprint to hang on to because it’s part of the company’s long-term plan to be a major player in the market when 5G networks become the standard. T-Mobile will likely argue that adding Sprint’s spectrum holding will help it fight Verizon and AT&T in that upcoming battle.
According to the well-respected analysts at the telecom-focused firm MoffettNathanson, these arguments may not be enough. In its latest client analysis, provided to Gizmodo, the firm explains:
Against these arguments, however, stands the irrefutable history that T-Mobile has done very well on its own, thank you very much. Sprint, too, has seemingly gained momentum, not only in its subscriber results, but on an (admittedly messy and growing messier) accounting-adjusted EBITDA and margin basis as well. The very fact that Sprint’s stock has risen from the troughs of 2014 could be taken as evidence in Washington that the company is no longer an imminent bankruptcy risk.
Assuming that regulators actually give this merger scrutiny, the two companies will have to provide a good reason that a merger between the third and fourth biggest telecoms makes more sense than Sprint being rescued through a merger with someone like Comcast or Charter, both of which have been trying to push into the mobile phone market.
We can also expect to see the two companies run a propaganda campaign among the public to gather popular support for the merger. AT&T was particularly shameless with its use of this strategy when it tried to acquire T-Mobile in 2011.
How likely is this to happen?

It just depends on what you mean by “this.” MoffettNathanson is putting the likelihood of T-Mobile and Sprint attempting to consummate the deal at 80 percent, and the likelihood of regulatory approval at 40 percent. If the agencies in charge of approving the deal were fully staffed and run by people who were more inclined towards enforcement of antitrust regulation, the likelihood of approval would be lower. At the same time, career officials who want to do the right thing still exist at the agencies, and many people in Congress are sure to start a drumbeat around the anti-populist implications of this kind of merger.
Currently, we have a market in which two smaller companies push two enormous companies to treat customers better through offering alternative choices. If this deal goes through, we’ll have three companies of a comparatively equal size that are happy to keep their piece of the pie without rocking the boat very much. Considering the world we live in, Gizmodo is giving that undesirable outcome a 99 percent probability of happening.
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Unread 2017-10-06, 03:45 PM   #205
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Report: T-Mobile, Sprint To Announce Their Merger This Month




T-Mobile and Sprint are presently in the process of finalizing their merger negotiations which are in highly advanced stages, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the ongoing consolidation efforts. The deal itself is likely to be announced by late October when both wireless carriers detail their consolidated financial reports for the third quarter of the year. Neither mobile service provider yet decided on a date for publishing its Q3 2017 results but should share more details on the matter in the coming days. Last year, T-Mobile and Sprint published their Q3 2016 results on October 24th and 25th, respectively.


Sprint and T-Mobile have been negotiating about a potential merger ever since the quiet period imposed by the Federal Communications Commission came to an end this summer after the agency concluded its latest spectrum auction. While Sprint’s parent SoftBank already expressed interest in merging the two back in 2014, the deal itself wasn’t possible under the former Obama administration which was strongly opposed to the idea of any major consolidations in the wireless segment during its tenure. The Trump-led White House advocates a more relaxed approach to regulating the industry and could hence be more inclined to approve such a deal, though SoftBank is now unlikely to be the one who ends up controlling the hypothetical merged entity. T-Mobile managed to surpass Sprint in terms of subscribers and general performance in recent years and Deutsche Telekom has less incentive to merge its subsidiary than SoftBank does, especially given the significant differences in their market caps.


Due to that state of affairs, the two have reportedly agreed to an all-stock deal which will see them exchange portions of their investments. Such a transaction would put the German telecom giant in control of the merged company while still allowing SoftBank to maintain a significant stake in the U.S. wireless segment. The Japanese conglomerate was supposedly ready to accept a stock-for-stock exchange rate around Sprint’s current market cap last month, sources said, suggesting that nothing has changed on that front in the meantime. Sprint is presently valued at around $30 billion and isn’t interested in having a termination fee in its merger agreement, though SoftBank may still ask for one during the final rounds of their talks, insiders claim. Should the two officially announce their intentions to merge come next month, their proposal should start being reviewed by the Department of Justice and other competent agencies by the end of the year and may be approved or denied in early 2019
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Unread 2017-10-10, 08:49 PM   #206
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Report: No Breakup fee in Sprint/T-Mobile Merger





Reports about the upcoming Sprint and T-Mobile merger have been coming fast and furious as of late. Late last week it was reported that a deal would be official before the end of the month and could be announced with the carriers’ quarterly earnings. Now, it appears that some of the details of the deal are starting to surface, and it appears that the deal would not include a breakup fee. A breakup fee is a fee that one party (usually the one buying the other) would have to pay to the other party if the deal doesn’t go through for some reason. AT&T had to pay a rather hefty breakup fee to T-Mobile back in 2011 when that deal went south, and even had to give T-Mobile a big chunk of spectrum.
The lack of a breakup fee means that both sides could urge regulators to approve the deal, without it helping one side over another. This merger, even if T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Sprint and SoftBank, are able to agree to terms, still needs to go to regulators for approval. AT&T did not get approval to buy T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom back in 2011. And in 2013 when SoftBank was looking to buy T-Mobile and merge it with Sprint, regulators told them that they would not approve such a deal. However, now under a new administration, the feeling is that regulation will be scaled back a bit, something that President Trump campaigned on, and has already been doing in other areas. Thus, the two carriers are trying to hatch a deal again.
If the acquisition does go through, the combined company is still said to be run by T-Mobile’s current CEO, John Legere. Deutsche Telekom would also have a majority stake in the company, which is a bit of a surprise, after Deutsche Telekom wanted out of the US entirely, just a few years ago. SoftBank wants a large enough stake to where Masayoshi Son is able to call some of the shots, but that seems unlikely if Deutsche Telekom is majority owner of the new combined company. Of course, all of this should be made official in the next few weeks if the recent reports are indeed correct.
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Unread 2017-10-10, 08:57 PM   #207
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Senators Urge FCC, DOJ To Investigate T-Mobile/Sprint Merger





The suggestion that T-Mobile and Sprint may merge is one that has surfaced for quite some time. However the belief in such an outcome took on significantly more importance recently when a report emerged suggesting a deal was likely to take place. Since then multiple other reports have come through adding weight to the idea and very recently a report came though suggesting that not only is the deal incoming, but the final details are being ‘ironed out’ and an announcement could be made with a matter of weeks.
Due to this, and the seemingly inevitability of an incoming announcement, a number of U.S. senators have now jointly written a letter requesting the FCC and the DOJ to investigate the impact of a T-Mobile and Sprint merger. Although the letter authored by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and signed by another 7 senators comes before a deal has been announced, the letter suggests that the speculation surrounding the likelihood of an announced deal, coupled with the potential impact of such a deal, is enough to justify the FCC and the DOJ start an investigation into the effects of the possible merger now. Suggesting that the impact of a merger of this caliber “could raise significant antitrust issues and could harm consumers.”
The letter goes on to add that by starting the investigation now this will allow the FCC and the DOJ to act more swiftly once an announcement is made, if and when one is. The letter also points out that some of the senators’ concerns over this merger is that consolidating the wireless market further will directly impact on some of the positive changes that have been seen recently. With the senators specifically noting how “competition among four major cell phone carriers has benefited consumers with lower prices, better service, and more innovation.” While further suggesting that this could lead to increased prices which would further impact specifically on low-income customers, or cause some to have to opt out of access to the internet in general. With the letter stating that “neither outcome is acceptable.” The letter highlights this point succinctly by noting how T-Mobile and Sprint are considered to be direct competitors within the market and therefore there are some additional add-on anti-competitive aspects in play here. Drawing on examples of how both companies have become leaders in the prepaid market, and pioneered ‘no credit check’ plans. Examples of innovation at the lower end of the market which might not continue as a result of a ‘horizontal merger’ such as this. The link below will assist those interested in reading the request in its entirety.
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Unread 2017-10-24, 10:05 AM   #208
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As we near the end of the fiscal Q2 2017, this usually marks the point where companies hold earnings calls to discuss various aspects of the business. However, two large companies will not be holding earnings calls and this is due to the fact they may be nearing a huge merger.

While T-Mobile decided not to hold an earnings call, CEO John Legere appeared in a 7-minute video for investors but did not take any questions. Meanwhile, Sprint simply stated in a press release that the figures for the quarter would be revealed, but there would be no conference call held.
The two companies lack of providing a traditional earnings call for the quarter leads most to speculate that the rumored merger could be launched at any day. This may be as simple as dotting a few t’s and crossing a few i’s, but this would make shockwaves across the mobile network industry.
Initial rumors claimed that the merger would be announced this month, new rumors state it’s been pushed to next month. Regardless, we’ll just have to see how all of this plays out, because even if the companies agree on a merger, there are plenty of hurdles that will need to be jumped before it actually happens.
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Unread 2017-11-06, 09:57 AM   #209
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Following end of T-Mobile merger negotiations, SoftBank increases ownership of Sprint


After the "will they or won't they" mess of negotiations between Deutsche Telekom, the reluctant owner of T-Mobile US, and SoftBank Corp., the owner of Sprint fell apart once again, SoftBank has announced their intent to increase their ownership stake in Sprint. This change would increase SoftBank's control of the US's 4th largest mobile network operator from 80% to 85%.

The 2017 series of negotiations centered around SoftBank selling their stake in Sprint to Deutsche Telekom, which were apparently abandoned on November 5th due to concerns from members of SoftBank's board about ceding control of the company. This is a reversal of the 2013-2014 series of negotiations, in which SoftBank sought to acquire T-Mobile US. That plan was abandoned under the expectation that it would not clear regulatory hurdles.
T-Mobile US was also an acquisition target by Iliad SA, the operators of the French telecom Free Mobile in 2014, and by AT&T in 2011. Additional rumors indicated Deutsche Telekom was in negotiations with Comcast to sell T-Mobile US in 2015.
SoftBank's acqusition of Sprint in 2012 was modeled after the company's previous success acquiring and rehabilitating Vodafone Japan, which was hemorrhaging subscribers when it was acquired in 2006. SoftBank later acquired Japanese mobile operator Willcom while it was going through bankruptcy proceedings. Much like the proposed Sprint / T-Mobile merger, the acquisition of Willcom blended two fundamentally different network architectures into one company.
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Unread 2017-11-06, 01:52 PM   #210
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Sprint Stock Plummets As Merger Collapses



Sprint stock started plummeting after trading opened on Monday morning in the immediate aftermath of its collapsed merger negotiations with T-Mobile. After concluding Friday trading with a valuation of $6.67 per share, the company opened at $5.86 earlier today and is presently more than ten percentage points down, with investors valuing it at $5.98. The Overland Park, Kansas-city based wireless carrier attempted to alleviate the market’s negative reaction to its failed consolidation by announcing a major MVNO agreement with Altice USA before the market opened on Monday but it’s currently unclear how successful was the company in doing so, with investors generally appearing to be unimpressed with its recent business decisions.

T-Mobile stock is also declining, having opened at $56.09 on Monday morning and currently being valued at $55.34, down more than six percentage points compared to last week. The Deutsche Telekom-controlled mobile service provider is still expected to weather through the aftermath of the collapsed consolidation more easily than Sprint, with some recent estimates describing its stock as being valued in a relatively realistic manner and not overly reliant on a major tie-up like Sprint’s market cap appears to be. Over the weekend, both wireless carriers said that they’re still willing to explore future mergers between themselves and other parties inside and outside the industry but explicitly stated that despite the potential to add significant value to their businesses, they weren’t able to reach an agreement during their widely reported consolidation talks held in recent months.



The breaking point of the negotiations was the corporate structure of a potential combined entity as neither SoftBank nor Deutsche Telekom was willing to yield significant control over the merged company to the other party. The decision to call off talks was reportedly made by the Japanese conglomerate and accepted by its German counterpart in a matter of days last week. According to some estimates, Sprint and T-Mobile missed an opportunity to add up to $50 billion of value to their businesses, though it remains to be seen whether investors will punish this development in the medium term as the Monday drop in the valuations of both companies was to be expected and the two may still recover from it going forward.
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Unread 2017-11-06, 01:54 PM   #211
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Sprint & Altice USA Enter A Nationwide MVNO Partnership





Sprint, the nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier, has announced that it has reached an agreement for a mutual partnership on wireless and spectrum availability with Altice USA, one of the largest cable and telephony service providers in the United States. Per the agreement, Altice will get to use Sprint’s wireless network as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), while Sprint will also benefit from its partner’s own offerings. The benefit here is that Sprint will have more spectrum to use in its ongoing 5G preparations and buildout, while Altice, who already offers a wide variety of home and business services, will finally be able to become a full-service provider by adding wireless solutions to its repertoire.

Altice’s footprint includes large swaths of the nation, where the company holds significant amounts of spectrum that it uses to serve somewhere around five million customers nationwide. Added to Sprint’s massive amount of existing spectrum, especially in the lower frequency range, Altice’s formidable holdings mean that Sprint will have a far easier time densifying its existing network and rolling out multiple solutions for 5G. Altice, meanwhile, will benefit from this network expansion in that its customers will be using Sprint’s network; any improvements that Sprint makes with Altice spectrum can be used by Altice customers as part of the MVNO agreement. In this way, the two companies mutually benefit. Monetary details of the deal were not announced, but it’s quite likely that no cash exchanged hands here; an even trade of spectrum subletting for MVNO rights is presumably a good strategic fit for Sprint right now.



Altice, meanwhile, will be following in the footsteps of its international brethren. The United States is one of the few markets in which Altice operates where it does not already offer wireless services. The other market is Israel, where the company is present as Hot, a communications specialist with a good section of the nation’s cable market to its name. In the U.S., the deal will not only establish Altice as a wireless carrier but could have an effect on its reportedly proposed buyout of Charter Communications. Altice is currently looking at offering around $185 billion in value for Charter, but the latter may not be willing to agree to the deal unless it’s offered considerable ongoing value beyond the initial payout, and involvement with Sprint may be just what Altice needs to sweeten the deal. The timing of the announcement comes less than two days after Sprint officially exited its merger negotiations with T-Mobile and is presumably aimed at offsetting some negative effects on its stock that the development will likely have once trading starts later today.


Sprint To Focus On Investments After Failed T-Mobile Merger





Sprint is set to focus on infrastructural investments after its consolidation talks with T-Mobile came to an end with no deal being agreed, SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Officer said on a Monday earnings call. The Overland Park, Kansas-based wireless carrier chaired by Mr. Son is now set to increase its yearly network spending to up to $6 billion in total, SoftBank CEO said, signaling that Sprint’s efforts on this front are about to become significantly more aggressive; the company’s current network budget is in the range of $3.5 billion and $4 billion, with some industry watchers previously suggesting that the firm ought to ramp up its investment efforts in order to utilize its spectrum holdings more efficiently. Sprint’s parent appears to agree with that assessment, though its planned increase may have grown even more after it became apparent that no deal with T-Mobile will be realized anytime soon.

Even a network budget of $6 billion wouldn’t put Sprint on par with T-Mobile, with AT&T and Verizon spending significantly more on their infrastructure on an annual basis, though the move is described as one of the first steps in the wireless carrier’s efforts to continue growing on its own following unsuccessful merger discussions. In the same vein, the company announced an MVNO agreement with Altice USA earlier today, and while it explicitly stated that the newly introduced partnership wasn’t dependent on its talks with T-Mobile, the timing of its reveal was likely meant to offset some negative effects that the failed tie-up negotiations are having on its stock value. Despite confirming a major collaboration with one of the largest cable companies in the country, Sprint’s stock is presently plummeting, being down over 12 percent compared to how it closed on Friday and trading for just over $5.80 as of Monday morning.



T-Mobile is also expected to ramp up its network commitments in the short and medium term following its unsuccessful attempt to merge with Sprint, with the two possibly being involved in an infrastructural investment war, according to some industry watchers. While announcing the end of their tie-up talks, both companies said they’re still open to consolidations going forward but were unable to find enough common ground in this particular scenario.


SoftBank CEO Expects A “Tough” Period For Sprint





SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son expects a “tough” period for Sprint in the aftermath of its failed merger negotiations with T-Mobile, the billionaire was quoted as saying during an earnings briefing with reporters earlier today. The 60-year-old didn’t provide a specific time frame for when Sprint may be completely free of difficulties, only vaguely referring to a period of up to the next ten years that he labeled as challenging for the fourth largest mobile service provider in the United States. Mr. Son remained adamant that Sprint will bounce back from its issues due to the fact that it’s “a strategically indispensable company.” The latter point was largely backed by Sprint’s spectrum holdings, with SoftBank CEO noting that the Japanese conglomerate should have the right to control its investment even following a potential merger.

Mr. Son’s comments essentially confirmed previous reports that Sprint and T-Mobile’s consolidation talks fell through due to SoftBank’s insistence on maintaining a significant degree of control over the combined entity instead of yielding all or most corporate power to Deutsche Telekom. The all-stock deal that the two have been exploring for the better part of the year would have supposedly seen Mr. Son co-chair the merged entity alongside DT CEO Timotheus Höttges, though the company would have largely been led by the German telecom giant, with that proposal ultimately being deemed unacceptable by SoftBank as DT wasn’t prepared to make any major concessions on the matter. The Japanese conglomerate is now also seeking to increase its ownership in Sprint from 82 to 85 percent, Mr. Son confirmed, with the move largely being seen as a vote of confidence in the struggling wireless carrier.



SoftBank CEO remains insistent that the idea of merging Sprint with another entity could still materialize in the future, so long as the mobile service provider’s parent is able to control the company that would be created as a result of such a consolidation. Sprint announced a nationwide MVNO deal with Altice USA earlier today, with the timing of the information’s release likely being aimed at offsetting some negative consequences for its stock that are expected to follow as a direct result of its failed consolidation talks with T-Mobile.
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