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."
In 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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