The $32 billion merger between Sprint and T-Mobile always faced a major uphill climb since U.S. regulators really weren’t keen on the idea of letting the wireless industry consolidate even further. And now a new report from The Wall Street Journal indicates that Sprint parent company SoftBank may no longer be the only company willing to shell out big bucks for America’s scrappy “Uncarrier.” More →
Amazing but true — Sprint’s “Framily” ad campaign has done little to stop subscribers from fleeing in droves. The Un-uncarrier last quarter reported losing another 245,000 contract subscribers and now it’s fallen behind T-Mobile and is now America’s fourth-largest wireless carrier. And how’s T-Mobile doing? Over the same period this year it added 1.5 million net customers, including a hugely impressive 579,000 branded postpaid subscribers. And as BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk points out, T-Mobile’s wireless service revenue grew by 8.1% last quarter while Sprint’s fell by 6.3%. More →
Anything Sprint tries to do, T-Mobile is determined to try to do better. T-Mobile on Monday unveiled a new family plan that will cost $100 per month for four separate lines and offer a total of 10GB of LTE data, or 2.5GB per line. In contrast, Sprint’s most comparable “Framily” plan costs $160 per month and offers a mere 4GB of data total, or 1GB per line. You can get an unlimited-data Sprint “Framily” plan, of course, but it will cost a total of $240 per month since the unlimited option costs an extra $20 per line. More →
Sprint and T-Mobile know they can’t just stand idly by like they did in the 2008 when both Verizon and AT&T cleaned house in the hugely important 700MHz spectrum auction that gave America’s top two wireless carriers a big advantage in building high-speed LTE networks. Now The Wall Street Journal reports that Sprint and T-Mobile are joining forces to together raise $10 billion to spend on spectrum holdings in the the upcoming 600MHz auction. More →
There are times when you have to wonder whether Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son doesn’t wish that he just bought T-Mobile and left Sprint to its own devices. Sprint on Monday announced that it’s once again going to follow one of T-Mobile’s latest “Uncarrier” initiatives by offering a 30-day trial to new customers who are interested in trying its service starting on June 27th. To be fair, this free trial is much longer than the 7-day trial that T-Mobile is offering, but given that Sprint made this announcement one week after T-Mobile first launched its own
It looks like Sprint is really gearing up to buy T-Mobile, whether regulators want to see it happen or not. Reuters‘ sources say that Sprint is very close to raising a $40 billion debt package from eight different banks that it will use to buy up T-Mobile, including “a bridge loan of roughly $20 billion from Japan’s Softbank Corp to Sprint.” Reuters expects that the package will be finalized within the next month, which will take Sprint another big step close to buying up the so-called “Uncarrier.” More →
When AT&T tried to acquire T-Mobile back in 2011, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said that there was no way AT&T should be allowed by regulators to acquire T-Mobile — only Sprint should be allowed to acquire T-Mobile. It took three years, but Sprint will soon see how regulators feel about its plans to merge with T-Mobile. Hesse was incredibly vocal in opposing AT&T’s attempted T-Mobile takeover. While it looks like AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson won’t fight the Sprint/T-Mobile deal quite as vigorously, he did have some thoughts to share on the matter. More →
In what should be surprising to no one, it seems that people use your services more when you don’t slap them with overage fees for going over monthly allotted limits. Quartz draws our attention to some new data released by Macquarie Capital showing that average monthly data use by T-Mobile and Sprint customers surged in the first quarter of 2014 and now customers of both carriers consume significantly more data per month than rivals Verizon and AT&T. More →
Verizon and AT&T probably aren’t fans of Sprint’s plan to buy T-Mobile and now they have yet another reason to hate it: Apparently it will make T-Mobile CEO John Legere more powerful. Bloomberg’s sources say that Legere, the notoriously foul-mouthed CEO with a reputation for shameless publicity stunts, will stay on as CEO of a newly merged Sprint and T-Mobile if the two companies’ reported $32 billion merger proposal passes regulatory inspection. Jonathan Chaplin, an analyst at New Street Research, tells Bloomberg that giving Legere this additional power will make him “twice as crazy” because he’ll have “double the asset base to work with.” More →
Although Sprint and T-Mobile are facing some steep regulatory hurdles, the two companies are apparently going to try to go ahead with their merger anyway. The Wall Street Journal’s sources say that Sprint parent company SoftBank and T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom have agreed to a deal that will see SoftBank acquire a majority stake in T-Mobile for $40 per share in a deal worth $50 billion. T-Mobile’s shares closed trading Wednesday at $34.28 each while its market cap stood at $27.46 billion, so it looks like DT will be getting a nice premium from SoftBank in the deal, especially since the Journal’s sources say it would retain a 15% to 20% stake in T-Mobile even after the deal is complete. SoftBank has argued that it needs T-Mobile to build Sprint into a truly competitive wireless carrier, although its arguments have been greeted with skepticism by regulators so far.
UPDATE: The original WSJ report said that the merger would be worth $50 billion, but it has since changed its report and is now saying it will be worth $32 billion.
Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son thinks that America’s Internet service is “terrible,” including the wireless data service provided by his own company. CNET reports that at Re/code’s conference this week, Son once again laid into America’s ISPs and wondered why we bothered putting up with them and their pricey, subpar services. More →
There hasn’t been all that much attention paid to the potential Sprint-T-Mobile merger recently, both because it’s been overshadowed by the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger and because it sounds like there’s little chance of federal regulators actually signing off on it. However, Reuters brings us word that the Kyodo news agency in Japan is reporting that T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom has agreed to the terms of a merger agreement proposed by Sprint parent company SoftBank. Terms of the proposed deal have not yet been revealed. More →