SoftBank owner confirms interest in acquiring T-Mobile US
SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son has confirmed the company is still trying to acquire T-Mobile US and merge the entity with Sprint.
Regulators appear to be set against a possible merger, but Son remains insistent that Japan-based SoftBank is still in the market to complete the deal. SoftBank completed a deal to acquire a 78% stake in Sprint last year.
Son said he would launch a price war to break a duopoly that is dominated by AT&T and Verizon if the merger was completed, but declared that the steps and details had to be worked on.
Speaking to US TV show host Charlie Rose in an interview for the PBS network, Son said: “We would like to make the deal happen, but there are steps and details that we have to work out. We have to give it a shot.”
The FCC’s chairman Tom Wheeler has already expressed scepticism over the deal earlier this year after holding meetings with both Son and Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse.
The FCC is concerned that reducing the number of wireless carriers in the market would have an effect on competition, but Son is arguing that a strong third player is what the market needs to compete with the larger carriers.
Son is set to make a speech on Thursday in Washington, outlining his plans for the US wireless market.
Excerpts of the interview have been posted on YouTube and the show was broadcasted late last night in the US.