The battle continues between two chief executives and their ambitions to acquire the third-largest wireless carrier in the United States. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Dish chairman Charlie Ergen have taken shots at one another as they continue to fight for Sprint. Son previously claimed that Dish would ruin Sprint because it had no mobile experience, while Ergen said Sprint would be better off with a U.S. company that can speak English and not a foreign one like SoftBank. More →
AT&T nabbed the exclusive rights to carry the LG Optimus G Pro smartphone in the United States, however new information suggests a similar handset could debut on Sprint later this year. A User Agent Profile on Sprint’s website has revealed that the two companies are working on an Optimus smartphone with a full HD 1080p display, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and an upgraded quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. The device also carries the model number LS980, which is in line with the Optimus G Pro’s identification (E980) on AT&T. The Optimus G Pro is scheduled to arrive on AT&T on May 10th for $199 with a new two-year agreement. The smartphone is equipped with a 5.5-inch full HD 1080p display, a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, a micro SD slot and a 13-megapixel rear camera.
Just one day after SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son attacked the Dish Network over its plan to buy U.S. wireless carrier Sprint, Dish chairman Charlie Ergen hit back by saying that Sprint would benefit by being owned by an American company and not by a foreign company such as the Japanese SoftBank. Reuters reports Ergen said that in addition to offering a higher price for Sprint, Dish would be the best choice to run Sprint because “we are an American company and the modernization of Sprint’s network will have to be done from the U.S.” More →
SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son has said that his company will not increase its bid for Sprint because it is already offering the better deal than Dish. Masayoshi believes that Dish Network’s competing offer for the company will delay the carrier’s turnaround and leave it riddled with debt, The Wall Street Journal reported. He noted that SoftBank has experience in the telecommunications industry, unlike Dish, which will prove useful in helping Sprint return to profitability. Dish claims that its $25.5 billion bid offers a premium over SoftBank’s proposal, however the executive said that belief is “totally wrong” and “incomplete and illusory.” More →
The latest Kantar smartphone report had many interesting tidbits about Windows Phone and iOS market share trends, but perhaps the biggest bombshell was buried in the section about U.S. mobile carriers. T-Mobile’s share of U.S. smartphone sales has collapsed to 9.5% from 12.7% in just a year. At the same time, Sprint’s share has climbed to 12.3% from 11.0% over the same time period. This means that in 1Q 2012, T-Mobile still held a narrow lead over Sprint when it came to smartphone sales in America; by 1Q 2013, Sprint had surged to lead T-Mobile by nearly three points. More →
Although Japanese carrier SoftBank has been courting Sprint for the past several months, it’s apparently willing to let the carrier see other companies. Sprint announced on Monday that it had received “a waiver of various provisions of the merger agreement” with SoftBank so that it can enter into a non-disclosure agreement and discussions with Dish to learn more about its competing merger proposal. Sprint may not enter into negotiations with Dish under the waiver, nor is it allowed to give Dish any non-public information. Instead, the point of the talks is to decide whether Dish’s offer represents a better deal for the company that would give it ample reason to break off its merger with SoftBank.
Sprint on Wednesday reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2013, which saw the carrier’s subscriber base and service revenues grow to record highs. Unfortunately, the company still found itself in the red, posting a net loss of $0.21 per share, or $643 million, on sales totaling $8.8 billion. That’s a slight improvement over the same quarter last year, when Sprint posted a loss of $863 million. Wireless service revenue in Q1 2013 came in at $7.1 billion, the highest on record for Sprint. More →
If Sprint was hoping that Dish’s merger offer would get rival suitor SoftBank to up its bid, it may come away disappointed. An unnamed SoftBank executive tells Bloomberg that the company has no plans to sweeten its offer and instead “will focus on its existing plans” for acquiring the company. As it stands now SoftBank’s $20.1 billion offer is significantly less than the $25.5 billion offer that Dish proposed earlier this week. Sprint has formed a special committee to take a look at Dish’s offer and Dish has asked the Federal Communications Commission to hold off on approving the proposed SoftBank merger until Sprint executives have had the opportunity to evaluate the competing offer.
The smartphone that changes everything is now available for purchase. The HTC One is unquestionably the best Android smartphone on the market right now, and it is available for purchase beginning Friday from both AT&T and Sprint. T-Mobile will then launch the sleek new smartphone next Wednesday. The HTC One release comes at a time when HTC absolutely needs a successful launch to help stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, the One has just over a week on store shelves at AT&T and Sprint before Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launches and draws away the spotlight. More →
Sprint’s board of directors has set up a special committee to evaluate Dish Network’s proposed $25.5 billion acquisition, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The company is also said to be looking to hire an investment bank to help it assess the offer. Dish’s bid is a counter offer to Japanese carrier Softbank’s planned merger with the wireless company. Sprint’s decision to establish a special committee shows that it is at least considering Dish’s offer. Both deals involve cash-and-stock options, and while Sprint’s board had initially backed Softbank’s proposal, two significant Sprint shareholders recently voiced their support for Dish’s bid, further complicating the planned merger with Softbank.
Dish will obviously have a hard time buying Sprint if SoftBank is allowed to buy it first, which is why the company is asking the Federal Communications Commission to delay any action on the proposed Sprint-SoftBank merger until Dish’s own proposal gets a fair shake. Bloomberg reports that Dish is describing its $25.5 billion bid for Sprint as “an important new development” that Sprint executives need time to consider before the FCC moves to sign off on a deal with SoftBank. In particular, Dish argues that because its “merger proposal is currently before the Sprint board of directors, the question of which transaction the commission ultimately should be deciding is unsettled.” Dish’s announcement earlier this week that it was interested in buying Sprint marked the first time that the satellite television provider had signalled a clear intent to move into the mobile voice and data market.
SoftBank doesn’t appear to be worried about Dish Network’s recent bid for Sprint. The Japanese carrier said in a statement to AllThingsD that it believes its proposed merger offers a superior option to Sprint shareholders with both “short and long-term benefits to Dish’s highly conditional preliminary proposal.” Dish on Monday challenged SoftBank’s merger proposition with a bid of its own worth $25.5 billion. The proposed deal values the carrier at $7.00 per share, considerably higher than SoftBank’s offer of $4.03 per share. Despite the higher bid, SoftBank remains confident and said that it expects the transaction to be completed by July 1st.
Clearwire disclosed in a securities filing on Friday that it had received an offer from an unnamed company for use of its spectrum. According to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon is behind the proposed deal and has offered $1.5 billion to lease Clearwire’s spectrum. Verizon is said to be interested in Clearwire spectrum in big markets to help it bolster its 4G LTE service. The carrier is expected to face a few obstacles, however. Wireless rival Sprint has a controlling stake in Clearwire and recently proposed a takeover of the company, while at the same time Sprint is in the middle of dealing with its own merger offers from Japanese carrier SoftBank and from Dish Network. Clearwire, Sprint and Verizon, nevertheless, will come together to evaluate the offer and discuss it in further detail.