Charter Shuts Down Softbank’s Latest Idea

July 31st, 2017 by · Leave a Comment

Charter has poured cold water on the latest idea from over at Sprint.  Over the weekend, reports emerged of a proposal by Softbank Chairman Masayoshi Son that would have seen Charter merge with Sprint, after which the combined entity would then make a bid for T-Mobile US.

Charter’s response came in rather blunt emailed statement yesterday:  “We understand why it is attractive for SoftBank, but Charter has no interest in acquiring Sprint.”

It’s not hard to see Sprint’s reasons for thinking about such a deal.  Adding Charter to the mix would have added a terrestrial backhaul component to an infrastructure that will one one day need to support 5G and all that goes with it.  But for its own wireless dreams, Charter is for now content preparing to be an MVNO for Verizon.

Of course another way to look at it right now is that one billionaire, John Malone whose Liberty Communications is Charter’s biggest shareholder, is not ready to sell off his consolidation platform to another billionaire — at least not anywhere near the current price being bandied about.

It’s a setback for Sprint’s quest to rekindle its previously abandoned deal to combine with T-Mobile US, but it surely won’t end the speculation.  Softbank has other resources at its disposal, and Masayoshi Son has perhaps other billionaires to dance with.  Altice anyone?

Another possibility though is apparently that Softbank may pursue Charter more directly.  If at first you don’t succeed…

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Categories: Cable · Mergers and Acquisitions · Wireless

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