SoftBank CEO to meet with FCC Chairman, expected to argue for T-Mobile mergerAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
There haven't been any official announcements regarding a possible Sprint acquisition of T-Mobile, but that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from churning out several reports regarding the deal. The latest comes to us from The Wall Street Journal, which claims that SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son is scheduled to meet with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today, Feb. 3.
A source speaking to the WSJ says that the meeting wasn't called for any specific reason and that a variety of topics will likely be discussed. However, it's expected that Son will make an argument in favor of large mergers that can create more competition for AT&T and Verizon.
It's said that Son will also suggest that an advanced network could take the fight to the cable companies and escalate the battle over home broadband. In order to do so, though, Son will argue that the a company would need greater scale. It's said that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse will also be attending today's meeting.
A Sprint-T-Mobile transaction wouldn't have an easy time passing the regulatory approval process. Not only have Justice Department officials expressed concern about such a deal, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has previously supported the move to block AT&T's attempted acquisition of T-Mobile. saying that all four major U.S. carriers competing with one another makes the wireless market better for the public. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son apparently isn't worried, though, believing that a Sprint-T-Mo deal would be given the green light if all of the positive aspects of the transaction are laid bare.
Right now much of this rumored Sprint-T-Mobile deal is still up in the air. Not only are Sprint executives working to convince regulators that such a merger would be good for the U.S., but Sprint, T-Mobile, and their parent companies SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom are reportedly still hammering out details related to things like branding, management and the breakup fee that would be paid if the efforts to pursue the deal fell through. Both SoftBank and DT seem motivated to get a deal done, though, and so there's definitely a chance that we could still see them officially attempt to make a merger happen.
What do you think of the possibility of Sprint acquiring T-Mobile? Would the combination of the two companies be able to more effectively compete with AT&T and Verizon?