Sprint-SoftBank Purchase Approved by DOJ, SoftBank Begins Talks with T-Mobile - The UpStream

Sprint-SoftBank Purchase Approved by DOJ, SoftBank Begins Talks with T-Mobile

posted Saturday Jun 8, 2013 by Scott Ertz

Sprint-SoftBank Purchase Approved by DOJ, SoftBank Begins Talks with T-Mobile

Since discussions were first confirmed, the road to success has not been an easy one for the Sprint-SoftBank merger. SoftBank agreed to purchase 70% of Sprint for $20.1 billion last year, but since then they have hit interesting road blocks; the most notable being DISH Network.

DISH offered more money for the network and has done everything in its power to distract Sprint from Softbank's offer. Last week they took it a step farther by taking out an ad in The Washington Post questioning the national security issues raised by the acquisition. Unfortunately for DISH their plan didn't work, as this week the Department of Justice cleared the deal. This just leaves the FCC approval pending, that is except for Sprint's shareholders.

Wednesday will see a shareholder vote to approve the acquisition, but not everyone wants the deal to go through. There is a lawsuit trying to block the vote, as well as major investors who want it delayed. Why? Because they want the board, who has already recommended to the shareholders, that they approve the SoftBank deal, to reconsider the DISH deal. A change of direction like that would certainly spell trouble for SoftBank.

That is except for the fact that SoftBank has also been in talks with Deutsche Telekom to purchase their 74% stake in T-Mobile US, according to anonymous sources. The sources say that SoftBank has been in talks for a while, but it is as a "Plan B" and are more interested in Sprint than T-Mobile. Obviously position 3 is better than position 4 no matter how you stack it.

So, will Sprint go to SoftBank or DISH Network? If they choose the latter, will Deutsche Telekom leave their stake in floundering T-Mobile US, or will they abandon their attempts at the US market? I predict that DISH Network will lose their bids for both Sprint and Clearwire, leaving them with no option but to purchase T-Mobile.

What is your prediction? Let us know in the comments.

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