Rumors surrounding an acquisition of Sprint by Japanese carrier SoftBank originated on October 11th, 2012, and it wasn't long before the massive $20.1 billion takeover attempt was confirmed. The agreement gives SoftBank a 70-percent stake in Sprint, granting the company full control over America's third-place carrier and a highly-visible presence in the US. Both companies expect the acquisition to close in 2013.
Mar 28, 2013
In order for the $20 billion acquisition of Sprint Nextel by Japan’s SoftBank to go ahead, the US government wants to oversee network equipment purchases in a bid to keep Huawei and ZTE products out of the nation’s infrastructure, reports The Wall Street Journal. Last year, a Congressional report labeled the two companies’ equipment as a national security risk, and SoftBank uses Huawei equipment, popular in many markets for its low prices, on its own network at home.Read Article >
Citing an unnamed source, The Journal explains that the government is expected to require notification in advance of any equipment purchases for the core of Sprint’s network. However, because of concerns about violating trade rules, it’s unlikely that there will be specific prohibitions against the two companies’ products.
Jan 29, 2013
The US Justice Department has requested that the FCC hold off on approving a planned merger between Sprint and SoftBank, according to Bloomberg, a move that would grant the government more time to review the proposal. In a filing posted today, the DOJ says it's "currently reviewing this matter for any national security, law enforcement, and public safety issues." It's doing so with the help of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, and is asking the FCC to give the agencies time to complete their assessment before moving forward. It's important to note that the Justice Department's request isn't atypical considering the circumstances; such reviews are mandatory when a major US business moves to foreign ownership.Read Article >
The deal was first announced in October, with Sprint and Japanese carrier SoftBank publicly stating they hoped to have it approved by mid-2013. A deferment from the FCC could significantly hold up that process and push off any closure of the $20.8 billion acquisition, however.
Dec 11, 2012Read Article >
Sprint, Clearwire, and SoftBank have had a busy couple of months, and it looks like things aren't going to settle down for a while longer. CNBC's David Faber has revealed that Sprint and Clearwire are in "active negotiations" for the wireless carrier to purchase the remaining 49 percent or so of Clearwire it doesn't yet own. The deal is rumored to be announced before the end of the year. Sprint acquired a majority stake in Clearwire back in October, bringing its total ownership to 50.8 percent. That move was said to be a condition of Softbank's takeover of Sprint, which was also announced in October of this year. Sprint's LTE plans rely on Clearwire, and a complete acquisition would allow it to control the company's valuable spectrum.
With SoftBank having just completed its massive acquisition of Sprint this week, here's a look back at The Verge's profile of Masayoshi Son, SoftBank's enigmatic boss.Read Article >
When Sprint CEO Dan Hesse — a tower of a man — took the stage in Tokyo last week to shake the hand of his comically shorter boss-to-be, it was the first time many in the West had gotten a glimpse of the enigmatic entrepreneur. But to those in the know, SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son's acquisition of Sprint is merely the most recent in a long line of power moves. His comfort in making big bets is to blame for a number of setbacks over the years, but this same risk-taking attitude and a shrewd negotiating style have made him a constant source of inspiration for traditionally risk-averse Japan. So who is Masayoshi Son, and how did his company, which started as a computer software distributor, become one of the most dominant forces in the global telecom industry?
Oct 18, 2012
AT&T: Sprint-SoftBank deal gives Japanese firm 'control of significantly more US wireless spectrum than any other company'
The viability of SoftBank's majority acquisition of Sprint is a big question as the deal progresses through various regulatory bodies in the coming months, but AT&T may be signaling today that it could take issue in a statement released by vice president Brad Burns:Read Article >
Notably, it's not an outright statement of objection — AT&T appears to be setting itself up to use the deal's approval process in one of two ways: one, it can object to it over concerns that a foreign company would own a tremendous amount of cellular spectrum. Two, it can sit quietly and use an approval as precedent to advance its own causes over the coming years, either through acquisitions or spectrum purchases: "This is one more example of a very dynamic and competitive U.S. wireless marketplace, which is an important fact for US regulators to recognize" is a signal that AT&T is cautioning the FCC to take a hands-off approach, suggesting the market is working just fine without heavy intervention. It's unclear whether AT&T hasn't decided which way to proceed or if it's simply not ready to tip its hand, but regardless, the company seems eager to start the Sprint-SoftBank regulatory debates right now.
Oct 18, 2012Read Article >
Sprint has upped its stake in Clearwire to 50.8 percent, and now has voting control over the company. The move comes shortly after Japanese carrier SoftBank agreed to purchase Sprint. America's third-largest carrier had a controlling share in Clearwire until earlier this year, when fears that its mounting debts would become a burden on the company prompted Sprint to sell off some of its shares. The move was reportedly a condition of SoftBank's takeover, as the Japanese carrier wanted full control over Clearwire's "vast reserves of spectrum."
Oct 15, 2012
Sprint is being acquired by Japanese carrier SoftBank in a deal worth $20.1 billion, the company announced here at a press event in Tokyo. As previously reported, SoftBank will purchase $8 billion in newly-issued shares from Sprint along with $12.1 billion in existing shares, giving the company a 70 percent stake overall. Sprint confirmed late last week that negotiations were ongoing, but it appears that discussions were already at an advanced stage.Read Article >
The two companies' combined subscriber base will be one of the largest in the world, and will have the third highest mobile service revenue of any company worldwide. In a press release, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse (who was in attendance) said of the acquisition:
Oct 14, 2012
Sprint confirmed on Friday that it was in talks to sell more than two thirds of Sprint Nextel stock to Japan's third-place wireless carrier, SoftBank — and now CNBC reports that a deal has been accepted by the boards of both companies. The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions by SoftBank, and as Nikkei reported earlier, the carrier intends to use the Sprint buyout to expand its global business, and lower its costs for devices and networking equipment. CNBC says SoftBank will buy $8 billion of shares from Sprint and $12 billion worth from shareholders, and that Sprint will receive proceeds from a bond sale to help it complete its acquisition of Clearwire. CNBC says the deal is expected to be announced tomorrow, so stay tuned for official details.Read Article >
Update: In what's likely to be confirmation of the union, both Sprint and SoftBank are holding press conferences starting at 4AM ET.
Oct 11, 2012
Japanese carrier SoftBank in talks to acquire Sprint, reports Nikkei (update: Sprint confirms talks)
Japan’s Nikkei business daily is reporting that the country’s third-place wireless carrier, SoftBank, has entered discussions to acquire more than two thirds of Sprint Nextel stock. The price is said to be over ¥1.5 trillion, or about $19.2 billion.Read Article >
SoftBank has been on a string of acquisitions of late, picking up PHS operator Willcom in January of this year, and fourth-place Japanese carrier E-Mobile less than two weeks ago. Nikkei reports that SoftBank hopes to use the acquisition to expand its global business presence, and to use economies of scale to lower the price it pays for devices and networking equipment. The company is credited with turning around UK carrier Vodafone's struggling Japanese operations following its 2006 acquisition, something that could bode well for Sprint's rocky performance.