As Sprint edges closer to a merger deal with T-Mobile, sources say the parties involved are bracing for a longer than expected approval process. This has triggered lenders to seek higher fees as part of the financing deals. Both Softbank, Sprint’s controlling shareholder, and T-Mobile shareholder Deutsche Telekom AG expect the regulatory approval process to take at least 12 months. Building in some cushion to the schedule, it is expected a drop-dead date will be set for around 18 months after an official announcement is made. » Read the rest
A report from the Wall Street Journal today indicates Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse are scheduled to meet with the FCC. Sources indicate that one of the topics of discussion is a possible merger with T-Mobile. During January, it was revealed that Sprint obtained some proposals from different banks that demonstrated how a merger of the two carriers could be made to work financially. That would only be one hurdle to be jumped if the merger is ever going to happen. It is looking more and more like regulatory approvals will be the bigger problem, which would be a good reason for the two CEOs to spend some time during a face to face meeting with FCC officials to discuss the merger.
According to different sources, the Department of Justice appears reluctant, if not being outright against the idea, to see the number of “major” carriers being reduced from four down to three. SoftBank and Sprint are likely to counter that argument by pointing out that Verizon and AT&T are the heavyweights in the market and the weakness of the third and fourth largest carriers is actually hurting competition, a situation that could be corrected by allowing the merger to occur. By meeting with the FCC, SoftBank/Sprint may also be able to get a government agency on board with the concept to help in the battle with the Department of Justice.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, the FCC has approved Softbank’s bid to merge with Sprint, and by extension Clearwire. The process started last year when Softbank and Sprint announced plans for the merger. Sprint also announced plans to acquire Clearwire using cash from the Softbank deal, as part of a strategy to increase their 4G LTE footprint in the U.S.
Since then, Softbank had to fight off a competing bid from Dish. Ultimately, Sprint stockholders approved the Softbank offer of $21.6B giving Softbank a 70% stake in the new company. With FCC approval, the companies will now be able to complete the merger and start moving forward with their develop Sprint into a much larger carrier, capable of competing with Verizon and AT&T.
We have another 5-inch phone to tell you about, but this one has a feature that everyone can appreciate. The Sharp AQUOS Phone Xx SoftBank 206SH can hold up for two full days on it’s 3,080mAh battery. Other than the sheer size of the battery, some of the power consumption improvements come from the continuous grain (CG) silicon display as opposed to amorphous silicon found on traditional LCD TFT panels. This not only allows for a thinner display and better graphics, but also reduced power consumption.
It also includes a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, a 13.1MP camera with f/1.9 optics, 1-Seg digital TV, IR blaster, LTE, and Android 4.2. It’s also waterproof. No word on pricing, but expect to see this bad boy in late June.
DISH Network announced today that they have submitted a merger proposal to Sprint with a value of $25.5 billion. The offer consists of $17.3 billion in cash and another $8.2 billion in stock. According to DISH Network’s news release, the cash portion of the deal represents an 18% premium over the offer currently on the table from SoftBank. DISH Network also points out that the ownership proposal for stockholders is a better deal as Sprint stockholders will end up with a 32% in the entire merged company whereas SoftBank is only offering a 30% stake in the Sprint portion of the company if they buy it up. According to DISH Network, the merger with Sprint will create a unique company that can offer customers video, broadband, and voice services both in-home and out-of-home.
Keep in mind Sprint is also in the process of acquiring full ownership of Clearwire, but that deal is contingent on the closing of the SoftBank deal. With a competing offer now on the table, it is not clear how that might impact the acquisition of Clearwire. Sprint has not yet issued a response to this latest offer. Hit the break for the full press release issued by DISH Network. » Read the rest
Slow your roll, Sprint! The Department of Justice has stepped in and filed a request for the FCC to defer approval of the Sprint/Softbank Merger. The DOJ said it was “currently reviewing this matter for any national security, law enforcement, and public safety issues.” The deferral request should be seen as a plea for more time rather than condemnation of the proposal. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are also taking part in the review.
An FCC hold will likely push the completion of the deal past the mid-2013 goal Sprint and Softbank stated back in October. It will also delay Sprint’s snail-paced, but growing, LTE rollout. Remember Softbank, Japan’s largest wireless provider, is bringing the green in this acquisition: $20.1 billion ($12.1 billion in cash consideration & $8 billion in capital).
Source: The Verge
As Softbank’s deep pockets have suddenly opened up a new challenger to Verizon & AT&T, it’s only natural for Sprint & Softbank to make an official statement confirming the major news. In a press release unveiled this morning, Softbank announced it will acquire Sprint Nextel for a whopping $20.1 billion ($12.1 billion in cash consideration & $8 billion in capital). The major highlight of this is the deal is the fact this will give Softbank a 70% stake of Sprint and 30% ownership, effectively giving it full control over the Now Network. The hope of this deal is Softbank will effectively give Sprint a better platform to use in rolling out not just its LTE network, but an LTE network with a significantly better structure than its competitors. Here’s Sprint CEO Dan Heese:
“This is a transformative transaction for Sprint that creates immediate value for our stockholders, while providing an opportunity to participate in the future growth of a stronger, better capitalized Sprint going forward. Our management team is excited to work with SoftBank to learn from their successful deployment of LTE in Japan as we build out our advanced LTE network, improve the customer experience and continue the turnaround of our operations.”
Of course all of this will be pending regulatory approval– so hopefully we won’t see some sort of mishap like we’d seen before. Hit the break for the full presser.
Softbank just keeps tacking on more Androids to its fall/winter line-up. Yesterday we told you about their Dell Streak Pro 101DL, and now we bring you news of the Lumix Phone 101p. This phone, manufactured by Panasonic, is meant to really combine a phone and digital camera, more so then just adding a camera to a phone. From the picture it looks like they succeeded. That’s a 13.2MP CMOS Lumix sensor with “Mobile Venus Engine.” Of course, it’s a solid phone as well. Check out these specs:
- Android 2.3
- 4-inch QHD LCD screen with 960×540 resolution
- waterproof body (IPX5/7)
- TI OMAP4430 dual-core CPU (1GHz)
- compatible with SoftBank’s “Ultra Speed” high-speed data communication service (max. 21Mbps)
- microSDHC card slot
- IEEE802.11b/g/n Wifi
- Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
- infrared connection
- e-wallet function
- digital TV tuner
- W-CDMA, GSM
- size: 64×123×9.8mm weight: 128g
No word yet on pricing or the possibility of international sale. Did I mention it also comes in pink.
Count this as one more phone to be added to Softbank’s fall/winter lineup; the Dell Streak Pro 101DL. This looks to be another higher end device with specs including:
- Android 2.3
- 4.3-inch super AMOLED screen with 540×960 QHD resolution (Gorilla Glass)
- 8MP CMOS camera
- 1.3MP sub camera
- 1.5GHz dual-core MSM8260 CPU
- SyncUp compatible
- Dell Stage 2.0 pre-installed
- Bluetooth 2.1＋EDR
- IEEE802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
- microSDHC card slot
- W-CDMA, GSM
- size: 65×126×10.3mm, weight: 140g
Expect this one on shelves sometime in January 2012. Price is still yet to be dermined.
Sharp is adding another glasses-free 3D phone to their stable, the Aquos SH8298U. This Aquos will sport Qualcomm’ Snapdragon MSM8255, a processor clocking in at 1.4GHz. Also onboard is an Adreno 205 GPU, 512MB RAM, 2GB of internal storage, a 4.2 inch qHD glasses-free 3D display, dual 8MP cameras on the back (for 3D content), a 1240mAh battery, and lastly Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
Pick it up from SoftBank in your choice of red or white.