SoftBank on Monday announced a revised offer to acquire Sprint. The company increased its bid by 7.5% from $20.1 billion to $21.6 billion in cash and stock. SoftBank notes that $4.5 billion in cash has been reallocated to give Sprint shareholders $5.50 per share, up from $4.02. The carrier was pressured to increase its bid for Sprint after Dish offered $25.5 billion to acquire the company. SoftBank’s CEO repeatedly insisted that his company’s proposal offers the best value for Sprint, however a number of influential shareholders had called for a higher offer. The company’s board of directors has approved the new offer and given Dish until June 18th to present its “best and final offer.” Sprint shareholders are scheduled to vote on the SoftBank deal in two weeks.
When asked to list the top smartphone brands in the country, most people would rattle off a combination of the usual suspects. Apple… Samsung… LG… Nokia… HTC… BlackBerry… Sprint? While the nation’s No.3 carrier certainly doesn’t belong on that list, there will be some people who skip the big names when buying a smartphone in the coming months and opt instead for the Sprint-branded Vital. With features like a 5-inch HD display, a 13-megapixel camera and a stock Android Jelly Bean experience, this unexpected smartphone packs quite a punch for a handset that costs less than $100. For some users, in fact, the Vital is an even better option than many of the leading smartphones on the market. More →
Japanese carrier SoftBank is reportedly interested in making a bid for T-Mobile as a potential backup plan in case its deal with Sprint falls through. SoftBank’s $20.1 billion bid for Sprint is being challenged by Dish. Reuters is reporting that SoftBank is in talks with Deutsche Telekom AG, the parent company of T-Mobile, about a possible deal to acquire the U.S. wireless provider. The talks between the two companies are said to have “intensified” in the weeks following Dish’s counteroffer for Sprint. Deutsche Telekom owns 74% of T-Mobile USA, which is said to be valued at $15 billion. The report comes shortly before Sprint shareholders are scheduled to approve or reject SoftBank’s offer on June 12th.
AT&T drew the ire of many wireless customers recently when it tacked on a $0.61 “mobility administrative fee” to the end of every bill that analysts have estimated will give the company around $500 million in added revenue per year. CNET’s Maggie Reardon did some digging around, however, and found that such sneaky, vaguely explained fees are staples on wireless bills for all major American wireless carriers. More →
Dish on Wednesday increased its bid to acquire wireless broadband wholesaler Clearwire. The company is now offering $4.40 per share, a 29% premium over Sprint’s proposal, which values the firm at $6.47 billion. Sprint recently raised its offer to $3.40 per share after shareholders had criticized its original proposal of $2.97 per share. Dish, whose offer comes two days before Clearwire shareholders are scheduled to vote on Sprint’s proposal, is also locked in a battle with Japanese company SoftBank to acquire Sprint.
Sprint on Wednesday confirmed that it has received the go-ahead from the U.S. government to merge with Japanese carrier SoftBank. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) had been investigating the proposed acquisition to ensure that it doesn’t pose a risk to national security. The government was worried about the use of telecom equipment from ZTE and Huawei, however SoftBank’s CEO confirmed there are no plans to use Chinese equipment. Sprint and SoftBank have entered into a National Security Agreement with the U.S. government and now only await the green light from the Federal Communications Commission. According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal requires the two companies to have a four-member national security committee, which will include a security director on Sprint’s board of directors that has the power to veto equipment purchases. Sprint’s press release follows below. More →
A recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission has confirmed that Google’s rumored X Phone device will be coming to Sprint later this year. The Sprint version is identified with the model number XT1056 and includes support for LTE on band 25. The device is equipped with NFC, 802.11ac Wi-Fi (or “5G Wi-Fi”) and low-energy Bluetooth 4.0. Earlier rumors suggested the X Phone will be powered by a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and run a stock version of Android. It was previously revealed that the Motorola-built smartphone will also arrive on AT&T and Verizon with the model numbers XT1058 and XT1060, respectively. Google and Motorola are expected to announce the X Phone later this year.
Clearwire’s Board of Directors has approved a revised offer from Sprint to acquire a remaining 50% stake in the company. Sprint had previously offered $2.97 per share, or $2.2 billion, for the wireless broadband wholesaler. After several shareholders voiced their concerns about the sale, Sprint decided to raise its offer to $3.40 per share. The revised bid valued Clearwire at $10.7 billion and represented a 14% premium over the original bid. The board is recommending shareholders vote in favor of the acquisition when they meet on May 31st. Clearwire’s press release follows below. More →
When it comes to U.S. carriers, just about everyone dreads the thought of having to call customer service to resolve an issue. Some carriers are certainly worse than others, of course, and the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index survey found that Verizon Wireless once again was ranked highest in customer service quality by subscribers. The company scored 73 points out of a possible 100, up 3 points from 2012. Sprint was flat in the No.2 spot with 71 points while AT&T gained a point to hit 70. T-Mobile remained the lowest-ranked major carrier as its score slid to 68 in 2013 from 69 last year. The full press release follows below. More →
Japanese carrier SoftBank has granted Sprint a waiver allowing it to consider Dish’s $25.5 billion bid for the company. The waiver gives Sprint permission to disclose non-public information and engage in negotiations with Dish regarding its buyout proposal. The Sprint Board of Directors has the right to terminate the existing merger agreement with SoftBank to accept a superior offer, however it has not yet changed its recommendation. SoftBank offered to pay $20.1 billion for a 70% stake in the wireless provider last October. Sprint will conduct due diligence with Dish and make a final decision in early June when shareholders vote to approve or reject SoftBank’s offer. Sprint’s press release follows below. More →
Sprint will launch the BlackBerry Q10 this summer as its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Lois Eichelberger Fagan, director of product portfolio for Sprint, revealed in an interview with CNET that the company had originally planned to launch the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 together earlier this year, however the plan was abandoned after BlackBerry delayed the Q10 until June. The company decided the timing wasn’t right for a Z10-only launch and felt more confident in the Q10, which it believes will sell better among BlackBerry users because of its QWERTY keyboard. The executive noted, however, that the carrier isn’t done with BlackBerry and plans to release a second smartphone later this year. Fagan didn’t go into further detail about the device, only saying that there is “more to come.”
Sprint on Tuesday announced a revised offer for wireless broadband wholesaler Clearwire. The carrier is looking to acquire the remaining Clearwire shares it does not already own for $2.97 per share, or $2.2 billion, valuing the company at $10 billion. Sprint has now increased its bid $3.40 per share, upping Clearwire’s value to $10.7 billion. The revised offer represents a 14% premium over the company’s earlier bid and a 162% premium over Clearwire’s closing share price in October when it was rumored to be part of the Sprint-SoftBank merger discussions. Sprint notes that the offer is the best and final offer it will propose. The company’s press release follows below. More →
The rumored X Phone being developed by Google and Motorola unit is headed to AT&T later this year. A recent filing with the Federal Communication Commission revealed that the device, which carried the codename Motorola XT1058, will support AT&T’s LTE and HSPA+ networks. The smartphone didn’t include CDMA radios for Verizon and Sprint’s networks, however a new leak suggests a CDMA model is also in the works. A configuration file reportedly from a leaked Motorola USB driver that was obtained by Droid-Life revealed a device with the codename XT1060, similar to the recently leaked AT&T model. The file also confirmed that the smartphone will be equipped with a dual-core Snapdragon 4 Pro processor and support for CDMA networks, although it isn’t clear if it will be compatible with Verizon, Sprint or perhaps both carriers.