FCC to Approve SoftBank Acquisition of Sprint
July 3, 2013 10:22 AM
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It also approved Sprint's request to buy the other half of Clearwire Corp.
Sprint is looking to challenge Verizon and AT&T for market share through
an acquisition by SoftBank Corp.
, and it looks like the government is onboard.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reportedly voted in favor of the acquisition by 3 to 2, and also approved Sprint's request to buy the other half of Clearwire Corp. However, this information hasn't been made public by the FCC yet.
SoftBank, which was founded by billionaire Masayoshi Son, originally wanted to buy 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion back in October. But just last month, SoftBank upped that bid to 78 percent for $21.6 billion.
Son will serve as chairman of Sprint while Ron Fisher, SoftBank Holdings Inc. President, will step in as vice chairman.
SoftBank was competing with Dish Network Corp. for the purchase of Sprint. In April of this year, Dish offered $25.5 billion for the wireless carrier, but had different terms and reportedly never submitted a firm bid.
Now, it looks like SoftBank will help Sprint -- the No. 3 wireless carrier in the U.S. -- take market share from the top two U.S. carriers, Verizon and AT&T. The company could certainly use its help too, since the $36 billion acquisition of Nextel and lack of newer phones like the iPhone (which it had to wait to sell until after AT&T and Verizon did so) has put the carrier in a financial pickle.
Sprint's shareholders approved the SoftBank acquisition on June 25. About 80 percent were onboard with the idea, and now Clearwire investors are expected to vote on July 8.
While this is good news for Sprint, the carrier has some other issues on its hands. It was reported yesterday that Sprint is facing
a $300 million lawsuit
for not collecting or paying sales taxes properly on the amount of minutes they sell for fixed monthly wireless plans. Instead of doing this, Sprint dubbed a portion of it as nontaxable and failed to collect about 25 percent of the taxes due to governments.
This cost both local and state governments over $100 million, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants $300 million to cover the $100 million lost by state/local governments and for penalties.
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7/3/2013 12:54:10 PM
Except it's $21 billion not $20 million... from what I understand, Sprint never stopped updating their network to LTE. Clearwire just finished 2000 sites and is doing the other 6000 and Sprint is overhauling every cell site in the country (around 40,000 or so). According to sensorly, it appears Sprint's LTE rollout has been aggressive. It's showing LTE coverage in multiple cities not even announced yet. I'd say their at least a year away, but with their combined spectrum, they will have more capacity then AT&T and Verizon combined and their 800 EMS and 1900 PCS spectrum will be competitive coverage wise.
They will also be the only network with a tri-band LTE network. Can't wait to see some tri-band hotspots and devices later this year.
7/3/2013 4:30:26 PM
I think Sprint's LTE network is pretty good. Here is my wife's Galaxy Note 2 and my Galaxy S 3:
Samples taken from sitting in my first-floor home office surrounded by units in a 3 story building near the lakefront of Chicago.
7/3/2013 5:06:15 PM
Yeah they don't have near the congestion as AT&T and Verizon, except on parts where their old and un-updated network lays... because they have half the people. However, I believe Network Vision is about 90% complete in Chicago and you guys even have the 800 mhz service there (for voice). Wait till they put LTE on 800 out there and then supplant it with 2.5 ghz from Clearwire and it will be insane! Can't wait, waiting patiently in Las Vegas and that unlimited data sounds pretty yummy. Starting to see LTE pop up though and my ping's use to be like 500+ and now they are like 40 - 60ms like yours.
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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