Sprint on Tuesday announced the upcoming availability of the HTC 8XT, the carrier’s first Windows Phone 8 device. The handset is equipped with a 4.3-inch display, a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. It also includes 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 4G LTE connectivity, a microSD slot with support for up to 64GB memory cards and a 1,800 mAh battery. In addition to Beats Audio, the HTC 8XT is the first Windows Phone 8 device to feature HTC BoomSound with dual front-facing stereo speakers and a dedicated amplifier. Sprint will launch the HTC 8XT on July 19th for $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and new two-year agreement.
Sprint on Tuesday announced that it has completed its acquisition of wireless wholesaler Clearwire. The FCC approved the merger last week and Clearwire shareholders voted in favor of Sprint’s offer of $5 per share on Monday. The acquisition of Clearwire will help Sprint, and new owner SoftBank, offer faster downloads speeds in more locations throughout the United States. It will also help the company better compete with AT&T and Verizon, while fending off increased competition from T-Mobile and its newly acquired MetroPCS. Sprint’s press release follows below. More →
SoftBank’s credit has been downgraded following the FCC’s approval of its acquisitions of Sprint and Clearwire, which SoftBank said it expects to close on July 10th. Standard & Poor’s cut the company’s credit rating from a BBB grade to a BB+ junk rating, Bloomberg reported. The agency citied SoftBank’s “exposure to intense competition in the U.S. market,” which is “unlikely to subside substantially in the next two to three years.” It noted, however, that it expects Sprint’s “operating performance to improve gradually” due to cost reductions and “other merger benefits.” A lower credit rating means there is a higher chance a company will default on its loans, which ultimately raises borrowing costs. Sprint shareholders last month agreed to SoftBank’s proposal of $21.6 billion in cash and stock for an 80% stake in the company.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint. The agency also gave Sprint the green light to purchase the remaining 49% of Clearwire it did not already own. Sprint shareholders previously approved SoftBank’s offer of $21.6 billion in cash and stock for an 80% stake in the company. The carrier’s deal to acquire the rest of Clearwire will give current Clearwire shareholders $5 per share and will value the company at approximately $14 billion. Clearwire shareholders are scheduled to vote on Sprint’s proposal on July 8th, and Sprint said it believes both transactions will close later this month. The company’s press release follows below. More →
Samsung has hired a former Sprint executive to oversee operator sales at its American offices, FierceWireless reported. Danny Bowman was named the chief sales and operations officer at Samsung Telecommunications America on Tuesday. In addition to being in charge of operator sales and operations, the executive will also head the company’s long-term strategic initiatives. Bowman was previously a longtime employee at Sprint, where he helped create its integrated solutions division. He was one of several executives who were let go from Sprint in early 2012 as part of the carrier’s restructuring plan. Bowman isn’t the first Sprint executive to be hired by Samsung. The company previously hired Kevin Packingham, Sprint’s former senior vice president of product and technology development, who is now Samsung Mobile’s U.S. chief product officer.
Long-struggling wireless carrier Sprint is about to get a much-needed dose of good news. Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that a majority of commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission support SoftBank’s $21.6 billion acquisition of Sprint, thus paving the way for Sprint to have the investment resources it needs to compete with rivals Verizon and AT&T. Bloomberg’s sources also say that the FCC’s approval will cover Sprint’s full acquisition of similarly troubled wireless wholesaler Clearwire, which will give Sprint a large bounty of spectrum that it can use to expand its LTE network throughout the United States. Sprint shareholders approved the SoftBank merger last week so the FCC’s final approval is the last big hurdle that the companies need to formally finish their merger, which SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has projected will be completed this month.
A New York Supreme Court judge has denied Sprint’s request to dismiss a $300 million lawsuit that claims the carrier knowingly failed to pay New York sales taxes, Bloomberg reported. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused Sprint of not collecting and paying sales taxes on some of its flat-rate access plans. The company’s neglect allegedly cost state and local governments more than $100 million. Wireless carriers must collect and pay sales taxes for plans that have a set number of minutes and a fixed monthly charge. Schneiderman alleges that Sprint didn’t pay some of its taxes to stay competitive with rivals AT&T and Verizon, both of which paid their New York sales tax bills in full.
It has taken a while but SoftBank looks like it’s finally about to acquire Sprint. The Hill reports that the Federal Communications Commission appears poised to sign off on both SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint, and on Sprint’s acquisition of wireless wholesaler Clearwire. With those two acquisitions in place, Sprint will have both the strong financial backing and the strong spectrum position it needs to challenge AT&T and Verizon. Sprint’s shareholders approved the SoftBank merger just three days ago so the FCC’s final approval is really the last hurdle that the companies need to formally finish their merger, which SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has projected will be completed in July.
Sprint shareholders on Tuesday voted in favor of SoftBank’s merger bid, which amounts to $21.6 billion in cash and stock for an 80% stake in the carrier. Sprint investors will have the option to receive $7.65 in cash or one share of “new Sprint common stock” for each old share of Sprint. The company noted that the deal received “overwhelmingly” support from shareholders, with roughly 98% voting in favor of the proposal. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son previously said the he expects the deal between to two companies to close in early July. Sprint’s press release follows below. More →
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is confident that his company’s deal to acquire Sprint will close early next month, Reuters reported. Dish Network was originally looking to counter SoftBank’s offer, but the company abandoned its bid earlier this week to focus on acquiring ClearWire. That effort might not work out either. The pressure from Dish, however, forced SoftBank to revise its offer for Sprint earlier this month. The company increased its bid by 7.5% from $20.1 billion to $21.6 billion in cash and stock. Son noted that Dish’s offer had the company worried and exploring alternative options like acquiring T-Mobile, but the executive now believes that with Dish out of the picture, the deal between the two companies will close in early July. Sprint shareholders are scheduled to vote on SoftBank’s offer on June 25th.
Clearwire on Thursday announced that its board of directors is recommending that shareholders vote in favor of Sprint’s recently revised takeover bid. The board’s advisement is based on the unanimous recommendation of a special committee of independent directors assembled to review Sprint’s offer. The deal would see Sprint pay Clearwire shareholders $5 per share for the remaining 50% of Clearwire stock that Sprint does not already own, and would value Clearwire at approximately $14 billion. Clearwire’s press release follows below. More →
Efforts to acquire Sprint have been a long and arduous fiasco for SoftBank, but the Japan-based carrier moved one step closer to completing the deal on Tuesday evening. Following SoftBank’s revised offer for Sprint that would see its bid increased to $21.6 billion, Dish announced that it is abandoning the race and will not revise its current offer, which is not expected to be accepted. Dish had previously offered a total of $25.5 billion for Sprint, including $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock, but the SoftBank deal is seen as the more promising option. According to Reuters, Dish said it declined to revise its offer because it did not want to match the break-up fees offered in the SoftBank proposal. More →
A new study published by PCMag on Monday found that AT&T has the fastest 4G LTE network in the United States. The website used eight identical Samsung smartphones to test the networks of all four major carriers in the U.S. across 30 cities. AT&T’s 4G LTE was found to be the fastest, although Verizon’s network was on the whole more reliable. T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network “looked great,” although its availability was scarce, while Sprint was said to be on an “upward trend” as it continues to debut new LTE markets. More →