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Sprint Drops Bid for T-Mobile – Reports

Dan Jones

Sprint is dropping its potential $32 billion attempt to buy T-Mobile, according to reports late Tuesday.

The Wall Street is quoting sources saying that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and SoftBank Mobile Corp. believe that the deal will not get US regulatory approval. The latest indication of this came this month Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suggested that it intended to block a potential joint attempt by Sprint and T-Mobile to buy spectrum at auction. (See FCC Could Block Sprint/T-Mobile Spectrum JV.)

Visit Light Reading's mobile channel for key developments from the wireless networking sector, including 4G, 5G, small cells, security, carrier WiFi, packet core and more.

Bloomberg is also tweeting that the deal is off and that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse may go as part of the fallout. A new CEO could be named as soon as tomorrow, according to Bloomberg.

T-Mobile also reportedly rejected a $15 billion bid from Iliad (Euronext: ILD) this Tuesday. (See T-Mobile Rejects Initial Iliad Bid – WSJ.)

We'll update you with more as this story develops.

Hey, remember when that other carrier tried to buy T-Mobile? (See T-Mobile Breakup Causes $6.7B Q4 Loss for AT&T).

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 2:38:14 PM
It does seem surprising...
If regulators didn't like AT&T buying up T-Mobile, I'm not quite sure why Sprint would have been that different. Sure, Sprint is smaller than AT&T, but it doesn't seem like the market would benefit from more competition if Sprint got a little bigger... 

I wonder if some other large corporation (not an existing wireless service) will try to acquire T-Mobile next?  
User Rank: Blogger
8/6/2014 | 10:17:51 AM
Re: Brighstar as Sprint CEO
Seems like the choice is less about having someone everybody knows and reveres and more about getting someone in whom Softbank views as its own team player.

I agree with you about the time it took to get to this point. Seems like if regulatory hurdles were the biggest factor in this decision Softbank should have dropped any prestense months ago.
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 10:03:10 AM
Re: Brighstar as Sprint CEO
Why is the CEO out? Just because the deal failed? Ironic that the Chinese company doesn't understand that the government has some control in this situation? Or maybe it's because he has done a poor job and the stock has declined so much since he took over and this was his final chance to save it...
User Rank: Blogger
8/6/2014 | 9:10:07 AM
Re: Brighstar as Sprint CEO
My thought is that Sprint is Son's house now. Heh.
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 9:05:57 AM
Re: Brighstar as Sprint CEO
Have any thoughts on Claure? I'm not sure many people have ever heard of him...


As for dropping the acquisition I'm surprised it took this long, given how repeatedly regulators appeared to state in meetings this deal would be a very, very hard sell. Wonder how the other two mega-mergers will fare?
User Rank: Blogger
8/6/2014 | 8:55:31 AM
Re: Brighstar as Sprint CEO
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 08:30:00 EST Sprint Names Marcelo Claure as New President and CEO OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 06, 2014 - Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) today announced that its Board of Directors named Marcelo Claure as the company’s next President and Chief Executive Officer, effective August 11. Claure, 43, joined the Sprint Board of Directors in January and is the Founder and CEO of Brightstar Corp., a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. As President and CEO, Claure’s first priority will be to continue the build out of Sprint’s network by leveraging its strong spectrum holdings as well as ensuring that Sprint always maintains truly competitive offers in the marketplace. Since founding Brightstar in 1997, Claure has grown the company from a small Miami-based distributor into a global business, with $10.5 billion in gross revenue for the year ended in 2013. Brightstar has become the world’s largest specialized wireless distributor and a leading provider of diversified services to the wireless industry. Claure was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, highlighting exceptional global leaders 40 years of age or younger. Throughout his career, Claure has received several Entrepreneur of the Year and CEO of the year awards. “Marcelo is a successful entrepreneur who transformed a start-up into a global telecommunications company. He has the management experience, passion and drive to create the strongest network and offer the best products and services in the wireless industry,” said Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son. “While we continue to believe industry consolidation will enhance competitiveness and benefit customers, our focus moving forward will be on making Sprint the most successful carrier.” “I’ve had the unique opportunity to spend the past few months actively engaging with Sprint’s Board, management team and front-line employees,” said Claure. “I am honored to have the opportunity to now lead the Sprint team as we mobilize to become the wireless carrier of choice in the U.S. In the short-term, we will focus on becoming extremely cost efficient and competing aggressively in the marketplace. While consolidating makes sense in the long-term, for now, we will focus on growing and repositioning Sprint.” Claure will resign his position at Brightstar effective August 11 and SoftBank announced it would acquire Claure’s remaining interest in the Company. Claure succeeds Dan Hesse, who joined Sprint as President and CEO in December 2007 and led the company through a series of acquisitions, including the merger with SoftBank, and a multi-year overhaul of its nationwide network, including the shutdown of the Nextel network. Hesse received Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and was named by Glassdoor in 2014 as being among the highest-rated CEOs by employees, and twice received Wireless Week’s Leadership Award. In 2014’s American Customer Satisfaction Index, Sprint is the most improved U.S. company in overall customer satisfaction, across all 43 industries, over the last six years. “I’m proud of the resilience of Sprint’s people during a difficult transformation and I’m optimistic about how they will build on a foundation of innovation to succeed in the future,” Hesse said. “It’s been an honor to have led such dedicated teammates for more than six-and-a-half years. Marcelo has been a great addition to Sprint’s Board and his entrepreneurial background, business savvy, industry experience and strong relationship with Masayoshi Son make Marcelo an excellent choice to lead Sprint going forward.” “Dan has guided Sprint through a challenging period and has built a solid foundation for future growth. The Board sincerely appreciates his leadership,” said Son. Claure will be based at Sprint headquarters in Overland Park, KS, and plans to relocate to the Kansas City area.
User Rank: Blogger
8/5/2014 | 11:25:26 PM
Brighstar as Sprint CEO
Re/code is reporting that Brightstar's Marcelo Clure will take the Sprint top job.
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