To Win Friends, SoftBank’s Son Promises War

March 11th, 2014 by · 3 Comments

After regulators threw cold water on the very idea of a Sprint/T-Mobile US merger, Softbank's chairman has apparently called in a big gun to make the case more forcefully -- himself. And he's not mincing words, promising Charlie Rose that he would make war against the AT&T and Verizon near-duopoly if allowed to make the deal he clearly wants to make.

"We need a certain scale, but once we have enough scale to have a level fight, OK. It's a three-heavyweight fight. If I can have a real fight, I go in more massive price war, a technology war."

rosesonIn other words, when told by regulators that the deal would be bad for competition since 4 is better than 3, Masayoshi Son is offering a vision of what real competition might look like with 3. The fact that he's done this before over in Japan -- and succeeded -- lends some credibility to the promise.

I still wonder just how much the integration process would slow down the combined company. But many have been making the case that whatever short term momentum T-Mobile or Sprint may have or generate, the scale problem will eventually squash it. Certainly the hill is steep.

That said, I rather doubt Son will have much luck changing minds in the short term.  While both sides have their partisans, everyone else seems ready to see where the status quo takes us for a little while.


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Categories: Mergers and Acquisitions · Wireless

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3 Comments So Far

  • mhammett says:

    I’m a big supporter of Sprint, but I don’t think I’d like to see Sprint take over T-Mo because of four is better than three. I would like to see Sprint pick up more rural operators, though, to have a coverage closer to Verizon, perhaps by picking up the rest of USCC.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have wondered for some time why USCC hasn’t been taken out, is it price? These guys held on to wireless going back to when CTL and Alltel ended up selling theirs.
      Some variation of the 3 (plus other smaller) combined into 2 or 1 makes a lot of sense for scale to compete.

      • mhammett says:

        Sprint really dropped the ball on their midwest USCC spectrum acquisition. They let a ton of customers fall by the wayside.

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