Sprint owner says 'door is open' to mergers under Trump

May 13, 2017, 02:39
Sprint owner says 'door is open' to mergers under Trump

Son commented that he'd like to be "very honest in trying to start a negotiation" with T-Mobile, but also acknowledged a deal on that front would likely come with a fair amount of baggage.

"Of all potential partners, T-Mobile is the one that would yield the most synergies, the most orthodox choice and we'd sincerely love to begin talks", he told a news conference, adding that the current USA administration is far more open to the possibility of a deal.

SoftBank Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son said Wednesday his company will "actively consider every possibility" with regard to restructuring the US telecom industry, adding he is keen to talk about a deal for Sprint's merger.

Shares of both Sprint and T-Mobile were up more than 2 percent Wednesday morning on the news.

T-Mobile is in an enviable position. However, it's also up to the other side and whatever conditions they may have.

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SoftBank's biggest business is running mobile-phone providers in Japan and the US, but its empire spans full or partial stakes in hundreds of companies including British chip architect ARM Holdings, China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Yahoo Japan Corp. T-Mobile, meanwhile, is now said to be the fastest-growing wireless carrier in the USA thanks to a combination of promotions, price cuts and social media marketing campaigns that have seen it steal customers away from both AT&T and Verizon.

Mr. Son also said he would explore possibilities other than a combination with T-Mobile: "We're basically open to anything". "Clearly T-Mobile-and its ostensible new owner SoftBank-see a big opportunity to differentiate themselves from AT&T and Verizon in the U.S.by positioning their services as mobile 5G, versus the fixed 5G "cable replacement" use cases the big two have been talking about as their initial 5G product".

T-Mobile CEO John Legere made claims that his company was the first among competitors to announce plans for "truly nationwide" 5G, saying that AT&T and Verizon's current plans-in-development rely too much on limited hotspots instead of wide-spread coverage.

A sampling of several IT industry analysts, asked about the renewed possibilities for a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, said such a plan is again far from being certain. The Motley Fool recommends T-Mobile US. SoftBank paid more than $20 billion to take control of Sprint in 2012 and has struggled to turn the US carrier around. Son said that talks had already begun with about 30 companies on potential investments.

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