by Brent Dirks
February 10, 2014
The potential acquisition of T-Mobile by rival carrier Sprint has already hit some major roadblocks. According to The Wall Street Journal, Sprint is rethinking its plans after hearing vocal opposition from government officials during a recent meeting:
Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son and Chief Executive Dan Hesse, who met with officials at the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission in Washington in recent weeks, always knew a deal would be a tough sell, the people said. But the men were surprised by the level of opposition and its very public nature, one of the people said. The sides are now letting the message sink in, the people said. Mr. Son may yet pursue a deal, they added, believing Sprint's U.S. options are limited if the country's third-largest carrier doesn't get bigger. But if the sides do decide to go ahead, they could take weeks or more to ponder strategy and perfect their regulatory arguments, two of the people said.The Justice Department and FCC both believe that the U.S. mobile landscape is more competitive with four major carriers. That was a major reason for blocking AT&T's deal for T-Mobile back in 2011. Son, who is CEO of Sprint parent SoftBank, still wants to make the deal happen. But according to the report, he will relent if the acquisition is seen to be “outright impossible.” Sprint has been contemplating the acquisition since at least late last year. While T-Mobile has been the perennial fourth-place carrier in the United States, the company has been especially aggressive recently in courting new customers. In January, T-Mobile unveiled a new plan to pay the ETF fees (up to $350) for any new subscriber. The deal is good for up to five lines of service. For other news today, see: Apple Announces iTunes Radio Is Now Available In Australia, Chevrolet Airs A New Equinox Ad, Shows Off Siri Eyes Free Integration, and Updated: Still Got Flappy Bird Installed? Then Your iPhone Could Be Worth A Lot.