Sprint & SoftBank in 'preliminary conversations' about T-Mobile merger

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in iPhone
Sprint and its controlling investor -- Japan's SoftBank -- are reportedly in "preliminary conversations" about a merger with T-Mobile U.S., a move that could narrow carrier choices for Apple's U.S. iPhone buyers.




Executives with Sprint and SoftBank have been in informal talks with T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom, according to anonymous Bloomberg sources. SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son and Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges have meanwhile told investors they're open to the merger idea.

Financial firms are already competing to participate if and when a deal is agreed on, the sources added.

Sprint previously expressed interest in buying T-Mobile back in 2014, but that deal ultimately fell apart because of expected regulatory obstacles. The Federal Communications Commission then barred telecom mergers over over a year while it conducted a $19.8 billion wireless spectrum auction -- that period ended on April 27.

Rumors of a possible merger arose in February this year, given a corporate-friendly Republican government and SoftBank's apparent willingness to surrender control of Sprint -- something that might further appease regulators and the nationalist-leaning Trump administration. SoftBank's Son has been publicly praised by President Trump for bringing jobs to the U.S.

A merger is expected instead of an acquisition for the simple reason that since 2014, T-Mobile's market valuation has surged to $55 billion, actually $23 billion more than Sprint's. At the same time, both companies are still in the shadow of the two leading U.S. carriers, AT&T and Verizon.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    mystigomystigo Posts: 183member
    That would suck. T-Mobile has been the best thing to happen in the mobile industry since the original iPhone came out. They have single-handedly driven pricing out of the stratosphere with their aggressive plans. I used to pay $360 with a pittance allowance of data for my family of 4. It's down to $160 now with a large amount of data that rolls over.

    What really sucks is that the people who could prevent such a merger couldn't care less about the American consumer. We are lower than used toilet paper on their scale of concern. There is absolutely nothing that can stop this.

    edited May 2017 albegarclordjohnwhorfinlongpathgeorgie01r00fus1vukasikacornchipspinnyd
  • Reply 2 of 35
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,418member
    sog35 said:
    Please no.

    T-mobile has been awesome.

    Right now I get unlimited LTE data on 3 phones for $90. That includes taxes, fees, ect. The first 30GB data is 100% full speed LTE. After that I lose priority during heavy traffic times. I've gone over 30GB several times and have not noticed any speed loss.


    Sounds real good, I am paying ~$80/mo for  grandfathered AT&T unlimited data plan with 450 talk minutes, including no text for month. And that's on a corporate discount program!  What kind of voice and text plan do you get with a deal? 
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 3 of 35
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,026member
    sog35 said:
    Please no.

    T-mobile has been awesome.

    Right now I get unlimited LTE data on 3 phones for $90. That includes taxes, fees, ect. The first 30GB data is 100% full speed LTE. After that I lose priority during heavy traffic times. I've gone over 30GB several times and have not noticed any speed loss.


    Sounds real good, I am paying ~$80/mo for  grandfathered AT&T unlimited data plan with 450 talk minutes, including no text for month. And that's on a corporate discount program!  What kind of voice and text plan do you get with a deal? 

    Perhaps Sog could tell it better, I've got a similar plan with T-Mobile - unlimited voice and texting in the US. Might include Canada and Mexico but I am not sure.  Also: free texting and data in many countries around the world - I took advantage of this in Great Britain and Japan.  I just can't tell you enough how great it is to have texting and data when traveling with family and not worry about crazy fees like with AT&T or Verizon.
    r00fus1cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 35
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Let it happen. T-mo has been bleeding money for years in their attempts to attract new customers. Legere has done a fairly decent job getting attention for the company, but I think they'll die anyway unless they merge.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    sog35 said:
    Please no.

    T-mobile has been awesome.

    Right now I get unlimited LTE data on 3 phones for $90. That includes taxes, fees, ect. The first 30GB data is 100% full speed LTE. After that I lose priority during heavy traffic times. I've gone over 30GB several times and have not noticed any speed loss.


    Sounds real good, I am paying ~$80/mo for  grandfathered AT&T unlimited data plan with 450 talk minutes, including no text for month. And that's on a corporate discount program!  What kind of voice and text plan do you get with a deal? 
    I had that same plan until my IPhone 6 came off its 2 year contract period.   Since I had decided to keep it, I contacted AT&T about a discount on their plan.   I got 3 different answers from 3 different AT&T reps.   But, in the end, they wanted me to keep the plan, keep the phone and keep paying them the same $82/month that included $25-$30 for the now paid-off IPhone 6.   (Since there was no line item showing the IPhone, they insisted that they had given me the phone for free -- and they got testy when I told them that was not true).

    So, I switched to Consumer Cellular and, not only got a better plan, but my monthly bill dropped $30 to $52/month.   And, the weird part is:   My Consumer Cellular plan uses the AT&T network, so I get the exact same service as before!

    Correction:  While it was a similar plan, I did not have an unlimited plan.   I paid $10/Gb for overages
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 6 of 35
    Sprint is horrible here in my area and many others. It has not improved under Softbank. If Softbank were to buy T-Mobile, I would likely have to switch services. I would expect the coverage to be about the same, but they will definitely mess with the price structure and the free bandwidth I use to keep a lower rate at 2GB/month cap. (I listen to a lot of music apps that are covered, as well as some YouTube when I must.)
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 7 of 35
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    I have to wonder if this merger would not benefit consumers:  neither Sprint not T-Mobile have managed a serious threat to either Verizon or AT&T over the past 10-20 years, a combined organization might be big enough to challenge those monsters in a serious way...
    baconstang
  • Reply 8 of 35
    ciacia Posts: 243member
    Maybe the Trump administration will allow what we all really want... A merger of AT&T and Verizon! Can you imagine?!? That would be awesome. Amazing coverage, and a single entity to handle all our customer service needs, (not that there would be many with a combined company that great!) It would be like Comcast now, who's amazing nationwide network provides fast, affordable internet/television service to millions. We can only hope! MAGA!
    baconstangRoger_Fingas
  • Reply 9 of 35
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    cia said:
    Maybe the Trump administration will allow what we all really want... A merger of AT&T and Verizon! Can you imagine?!? That would be awesome. Amazing coverage, and a single entity to handle all our customer service needs, (not that there would be many with a combined company that great!) It would be like Comcast now, who's amazing nationwide network provides fast, affordable internet/television service to millions. We can only hope! MAGA!
    Your cynicism not withstanding I get your point. You want total government regulation of prices and features. You, through your elected representative, will decide how much you will pay for everything and how things will work. You should know that’s already been tried and failed in places like Cuba, Venezuela, the Soviet Union. 
    longpathjony0[Deleted User]
  • Reply 10 of 35
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,882member
    lkrupp said:
    cia said:
    Maybe the Trump administration will allow what we all really want... A merger of AT&T and Verizon! Can you imagine?!? That would be awesome. Amazing coverage, and a single entity to handle all our customer service needs, (not that there would be many with a combined company that great!) It would be like Comcast now, who's amazing nationwide network provides fast, affordable internet/television service to millions. We can only hope! MAGA!
    Your cynicism not withstanding I get your point. You want total government regulation of prices and features. You, through your elected representative, will decide how much you will pay for everything and how things will work. You should know that’s already been tried and failed in places like Cuba, Venezuela, the Soviet Union. 
    You have you're irony switch toggled off.
    SpamSandwichGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 35
    sog35 said:
    cia said:
    Maybe the Trump administration will allow what we all really want... A merger of AT&T and Verizon! Can you imagine?!? That would be awesome. Amazing coverage, and a single entity to handle all our customer service needs, (not that there would be many with a combined company that great!) It would be like Comcast now, who's amazing nationwide network provides fast, affordable internet/television service to millions. We can only hope! MAGA!
    are you kidding?

    Then they will jack up the price since they will have a near monopoly
    Yes, he was kidding. Although, Comcast does provide fast service, but affordable? Not in my area where they have no real competition. Somehow they seem to have different pricing in the areas where they compete with FiOS.
    baconstangGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 35
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,882member
    Let it happen. T-mo has been bleeding money for years in their attempts to attract new customers. Legere has done a fairly decent job getting attention for the company, but I think they'll die anyway unless they merge.
    Have you been reading a different set of quarterly reports recently?  Latest quarter: $698M net income (up 46% YoY) on $9.6B revenues is hardly 'bleeding money'.
    spinnyd
  • Reply 13 of 35
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    sog35 said:
    cia said:
    Maybe the Trump administration will allow what we all really want... A merger of AT&T and Verizon! Can you imagine?!? That would be awesome. Amazing coverage, and a single entity to handle all our customer service needs, (not that there would be many with a combined company that great!) It would be like Comcast now, who's amazing nationwide network provides fast, affordable internet/television service to millions. We can only hope! MAGA!
    are you kidding?

    Then they will jack up the price since they will have a near monopoly
    Monopolies happen when businesses are protected FROM competition, not when they are actually competing.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 14 of 35
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 435member
    I'm not a fan of capitalism as it often exists today (i.e. used as a justification for greed), but the changes over the past years in the mobile phone industry are an excellent current argument for capitalism. T-Mobile's legitimate competition has resulted in substantially better prices and offerings from multiple carriers.

    I really dislike Sprint, a lot, but in the current market it makes me nervous to lose the distinction between them and T-Mobile. Any disappearance of competition right now could set the stage for a return to not so long ago. If T-Mobile no longer feels the pressure to compete so heavily after a merger with Sprint, who's to say higher prices for less offerings won't return?

    Further, I really like T-Mobile. It pains me to think about any kind of association with Sprint.
    Roger_Fingascornchip
  • Reply 15 of 35
    tshapitshapi Posts: 369member
    Sounds like sprint is dying... T-Mobile has pushed every carrier to bring back unlimited to compete and stop the customer bleeding.   A sprint T-Mobile merger would likely lead to a bigger T-Mobile and sprint shedding its name. 


  • Reply 16 of 35
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 801member
    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    Please no.

    T-mobile has been awesome.

    Right now I get unlimited LTE data on 3 phones for $90. That includes taxes, fees, ect. The first 30GB data is 100% full speed LTE. After that I lose priority during heavy traffic times. I've gone over 30GB several times and have not noticed any speed loss.


    Sounds real good, I am paying ~$80/mo for  grandfathered AT&T unlimited data plan with 450 talk minutes, including no text for month. And that's on a corporate discount program!  What kind of voice and text plan do you get with a deal? 
    Actually its $100 for 3 unlimited LTE lines, unlimited voice and text.

    The regular price is $100 for 2 lines, but couple months ago they had a promotion for an unlimited 3rd line for free.

    Right now I don't even use the 3rd line, but if you use less than 2GB of data a month you get $10 off. So my bill is $90.

  • Reply 17 of 35
    Film@11Film@11 Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    My Consumer Cellular plan uses the AT&T network, so I get the exact same service as before!

    Correction:  While it was a similar plan, I did not have an unlimited plan.   I paid $10/Gb for overages
    I think you'll find that data traffic for MVNOs is slower than the parent carrier gives their own customers. I know that for Virgin and Boost (they use Sprint) it is right there in the fine print that they only get half the speeds that Sprint gives their own post-paid customers. But if it works for you that's great. I know that with T-Mobile my phone payments and cell services are separate line items. If I pay off the phone, I save $25 a month, of course I never will because I keep upgrading my phone every year :)
  • Reply 18 of 35
    almondrocaalmondroca Posts: 179member
    sog35 said:
    Please no.

    T-mobile has been awesome.

    Right now I get unlimited LTE data on 3 phones for $90. That includes taxes, fees, ect. The first 30GB data is 100% full speed LTE. After that I lose priority during heavy traffic times. I've gone over 30GB several times and have not noticed any speed loss.


    Sounds real good, I am paying ~$80/mo for  grandfathered AT&T unlimited data plan with 450 talk minutes, including no text for month. And that's on a corporate discount program!  What kind of voice and text plan do you get with a deal? 
    I was also on a grandfathered AT&T plan three months ago till they raised $5 per line on those plans. My bill was already $145+, so I jumped to T-Mobile. AT&T made it difficult to move over because their corporate phone reps kept mishandling early termination fees (which they're supposed to waive for grandfather's customers). It took 3 hours of phone calls over a period of weeks for AT&T to release me.

    At T-Mob, 2 lines of unlimited data, talk, text for $100. Plus two $150 gift cards for adding two lines. The customer service and portal is either better or on par with AT&T.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    dkhaleydkhaley Posts: 57member
    Of course it will be structured as a merger. If two companies merge, there is no tax impact on the shareholders. If one were to buyout the other's shares, that becomes taxable capital gains.

    Even with mergers, one company controls the new entity. The ideas of a merger of equals is a fallacy. T-Mobile seems more likely to prevail, but it all depends on the deal they make.
  • Reply 20 of 35
    r00fus1r00fus1 Posts: 65member
    sog35 said:
    Please no.

    T-mobile has been awesome.

    Right now I get unlimited LTE data on 3 phones for $90. That includes taxes, fees, ect. The first 30GB data is 100% full speed LTE. After that I lose priority during heavy traffic times. I've gone over 30GB several times and have not noticed any speed loss.


    Sounds real good, I am paying ~$80/mo for  grandfathered AT&T unlimited data plan with 450 talk minutes, including no text for month. And that's on a corporate discount program!  What kind of voice and text plan do you get with a deal? 
    With T-Mobile you don't need a "deal" - though if you're savvy you can get your employer to expense some of the cost. My favorite "limited time deal" with T-Mobile is unlimited stateside calling which, for $10/mo, all 10 of my lines can call to dozens of international countries for free. But other than that, it's all mostly above-board these days.
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