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Thread: The final obstacle to the T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Begins Tomorrow

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    The weak point of T-Mobile's and Sprint's case is how Deutsches Telecom was able to invest enough money to engineer a spectacular turnaround of T-Mobile.
    That's not really a weak point. As DT CEO pointed out in testimony today, T-Mobile had $3 billion in free cash and a 7 year roaming agreement from AT&T.

    Aside from that, money isn't a guarantee of a turnaround. Son and Softbank bought Sprint relatively recently. They also bought Clearwire that had all of that spectrum. They threw a lot of money into Sprint. But Sprint ended up losing marketshare (they were #3 at the time of the purchase) and T-Mobile kept growing to take over the third spot.

    Sprint can tread water for awhile. And in bankruptcy reorganization they could keep going even further.

    But as far as the state's arguments for minorities and low-income customers---isn't it sort of discriminatory to say, we're going to force Sprint to stay in business so you'll get to use a subpar network that is worse than the other three?

    The option that a merger allows, is for these Sprint customers to actually get a much better network as the company's combine to use their resources more efficiently. Unlike many businesses, there is a limited supply of spectrum and there's a limit to how many competitors that can profitably operate in the wireless industry. More and more customers are demanding a nationwide carrier. And it's harder to create such a nationwide network with increased technology.

    I don't think that there's a single person that believes that going from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Boost will satisfy anti-trust concerns. If we had an administration that was interested in the law we'd never have gotten this far.
    Well clearly there are numerous people in the DOJ and FCC who feel that the combination does meet antitrust concerns. Along with 37 other state AG's who have no issue. Plenty of people do agree.

    Trying to regulate a business to stay in business and provide a service at a certain price point has limited effectiveness. The 13 AG's might win their case. But Sprint would have zero obligation to offer the same service at the same price. They are free to raise their prices and might do so in order to stay in business. At that point the successful court case would have done nothing except keep 2 carriers at the top and 2 smaller, weaker competitors who couldn't compete with the top 2 on the same level in many instances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    Oh, I think comcast could of did something with it within 7 years. Likely much more than dish did with it the last 7 years, that's for sure.
    That scenario is only speculation. And furthermore, it's easy for others to spend Comcast's money. However, a business spends money to get a return---not to be a fourth competitor just for the heck of it. I don't think there's that much profit available in being a 4th competitor at this stage of the game.

    I don't know that Dish will ever build out a network quite honestly. But what Dish does or doesn't do, isn't that important. Having a third carrier to challenge AT&T and Verizon for corporate customers or higher revenue individuals is far more valuable to the competitive landscape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    Oh, I think comcast could of did something with it within 7 years. Likely much more than dish did with it the last 7 years, that's for sure. Some may think TMobile strategically handpicked dish due to them not actually believing dish will ever become a viable carrier, and that TMobile ends up with that spectrum back, and even those prepaid users back eventually as well.
    Son the CEO of SoftBank begged Comcast to make the merger with SoftBank. Son did the same thing with Charter Communication, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple. Everyone of them didn’t want Sprint and that massive debt that Sprint has. I get Google & Apple that invented the OS for Android and iPhones that can’t go into a business on a large scale against rival networks that sell their phones.

    The bottom line was only T-Mobile wanted to buy Sprint. Dish with all their unused spectrum was the best chance of building out a new network that wanted to go into the cell business. There would be nothing to stop Dish from buying Area networks like US Cellular, Cspire, Bluegrass and many more.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    "Allowing workers to unionize?" Workers can unionize now if they wish. Temporary price controls are of no real value. The issue is the elimination of a fourth carrier that has intentionally stopped trying to be competitive in order to get the merger to go through.
    I am sorry but where is the elimination of a 4th carrier. A new one is being created or did we not read the DOJ decision?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    It's very amusing to listen to Sprint argue in court that their network sucks while airing advertisements that proclaim how wonderful their network is.

    The weak point of T-Mobile's and Sprint's case is how Deutsches Telecom was able to invest enough money to engineer a spectacular turnaround of T-Mobile. Well that's one of the weak points. The even weaker point is that Dish acquiring Boost and operating it as a T-Mobile MVNO will result in a fourth nationwide network.
    Do you expect Sprint to say our network sucks in an advertisement?

    A judge can not order SoftBank, a part of this lawsuit, to invest in their company like DT did.

    It will be easier to standup an MVNO while building out then it is to start with just spectrum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    Actually that is exactly T-Mobile's job in the lawsuit.
    If you read the justice departments ruling and attachments, then you would realize the burden of proof that the merger will remove one facilities based carrier is on the State’s AG. The DOJ laid out the case right there in their filing. There will be a 4th carrier out of this via divestitures of Pre-paid, spectrum, and towers. They also are sharing 600 MHz spectrum so the 600 owned by DISH will start being used. By all means google the decision.
    There is even provisions to have the divested assets to Dish on T-Mobile’s network by 90 days.

    So far the news coming out seems bad, but I am not sure the State’s Attorneys have proved that their won’t be a 4th carrier which is basically their whole lawsuit. At least none of the articles I’ve seen posted yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
    Son the CEO of SoftBank begged Comcast to make the merger with SoftBank. Son did the same thing with Charter Communication, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple. Everyone of them didn’t want Sprint and that massive debt that Sprint has. I get Google & Apple that invented the OS for Android and iPhones that can’t go into a business on a large scale against rival networks that sell their phones.

    The bottom line was only T-Mobile wanted to buy Sprint. Dish with all their unused spectrum was the best chance of building out a new network that wanted to go into the cell business. There would be nothing to stop Dish from buying Area networks like US Cellular, Cspire, Bluegrass and many more.
    Yes, comcast didn't seem to be interested in buying Sprint outright, but comcast definitely has interest in the mobile market and would of been a better suitor for the DOJ agreement for boost than dish. Now, TMobile lawyers have to defend in court why Dish network, a company that, let's face it had been spectrum squatting for years, is now going to magically build a new wireless carrier. What was stopping dish from deploying their spectrum before, and acquiring those regional carriers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    That scenario is only speculation. And furthermore, it's easy for others to spend Comcast's money. However, a business spends money to get a return---not to be a fourth competitor just for the heck of it. I don't think there's that much profit available in being a 4th competitor at this stage of the game.

    I don't know that Dish will ever build out a network quite honestly. But what Dish does or doesn't do, isn't that important. Having a third carrier to challenge AT&T and Verizon for corporate customers or higher revenue individuals is far more valuable to the competitive landscape.
    I agree, their isn't going to be much there for a new start up 4th carrier, unless that 4th carrier can match verizon, at&t, and if approved the new TMobile in advertising spending, CAPEX, and quite frankly, name value. Dish will never be able to do that. Comcast though, could of. Comcast has shown interest in entering wireless on their own, this isn't a stretch to think they would of been interested in negotiations with TMobile for their divested assets. Reports are though, they were never even contacted. This leads some to believe the goal never was to create a real 4th carrier, the goal was to create the illusion of one, with the end result being they eventually get all their assets back. This isn't to say TMobile was wrong, no company is going to set up their own strong competition. Whether or not this works, or becomes important, remains to be seen. If the court case goes their way, and it plays out dish never does anything with the spectrum, TMobile buys large portions of it and thrives, they look like geniuses, they used Charlie's own ego against him and he was the perfect pawn in their game. Kudos and if they lose the court case, because the judge does not believe dish will become a viable carrier in the future, the choice to sell to dish becomes heavily scrutinized. It's a very high risk, high reward gamble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    Oh, I think comcast could of did something with it within 7 years. Likely much more than dish did with it the last 7 years, that's for sure. Some may think TMobile strategically handpicked dish due to them not actually believing dish will ever become a viable carrier, and that TMobile ends up with that spectrum back, and even those prepaid users back eventually as well.
    The question before the court is whether or not the merger will reduce competition and hence result in higher prices than would have occurred without the merger.

    Does anyone here actually believe that spinning off Boost to Dish, with Dish using T-Mobile's network for at least a decade while they build their own infrastructure, will not result in less competition than we have now?

    The judge isn't looking at whether or not Sprint is making money or losing money at this instant. The judge may look at how Deutsches Telecom was able to invest in T-Mobile and turn it from a hollow joke, fourth-place network, into a viable third national network. The narrative from Sprint of "we're just so terrible that we're hopeless" may resonate with those that want this deal to go through, for whatever reason, but judges have to look at the facts.

    Is it possible to turn around a failing company? Yes. Besides T-Mobile, there are other companies that have reinvented themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    I agree, their isn't going to be much there for a new start up 4th carrier, unless that 4th carrier can match verizon, at&t, and if approved the new TMobile in advertising spending, CAPEX, and quite frankly, name value. Dish will never be able to do that. Comcast though, could of. Comcast has shown interest in entering wireless on their own, this isn't a stretch to think they would of been interested in negotiations with TMobile for their divested assets. Reports are though, they were never even contacted. This leads some to believe the goal never was to create a real 4th carrier, the goal was to create the illusion of one, with the end result being they eventually get all their assets back. This isn't to say TMobile was wrong, no company is going to set up their own strong competition. Whether or not this works, or becomes important, remains to be seen. If the court case goes their way, and it plays out dish never does anything with the spectrum, TMobile buys large portions of it and thrives, they look like geniuses, they used Charlie's own ego against him and he was the perfect pawn in their game. Kudos and if they lose the court case, because the judge does not believe dish will become a viable carrier in the future, the choice to sell to dish becomes heavily scrutinized. It's a very high risk, high reward gamble.
    Comcast would be perfect because without its own wireless service Comcast could be partitioned out of the communications business. Operating as a Verizon MVNO has not gone well for Comcast. Verizon is far ahead of the other carriers in 5G deployment and will be able to offer the equivalent of broadband service to compete with Comcast, in fact they are already offering it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by n33d0n3 View Post
    Do you expect Sprint to say our network sucks in an advertisement?

    A judge can not order SoftBank, a part of this lawsuit, to invest in their company like DT did.

    It will be easier to standup an MVNO while building out then it is to start with just spectrum.
    Correct, the judge cannot order anyone to invest in Sprint. But the judge can look at whether or not Sprint could achieve a similar turnaround to T-Mobile with sufficient investment. It was not so long ago that Sprint was larger than T-Mobile in the U.S..

    Boost is such an insignificant MVNO in terms of the number of subscribers that building a viable fourth nationwide wireless competitor around it was just a desperation move to get the deal through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    The question before the court is whether or not the merger will reduce competition and hence result in higher prices than would have occurred without the merger.

    Does anyone here actually believe that spinning off Boost to Dish, with Dish using T-Mobile's network for at least a decade while they build their own infrastructure, will not result in less competition than we have now?

    The judge isn't looking at whether or not Sprint is making money or losing money at this instant. The judge may look at how Deutsches Telecom was able to invest in T-Mobile and turn it from a hollow joke, fourth-place network, into a viable third national network. The narrative from Sprint of "we're just so terrible that we're hopeless" may resonate with those that want this deal to go through, for whatever reason, but judges have to look at the facts.

    Is it possible to turn around a failing company? Yes. Besides T-Mobile, there are other companies that have reinvented themselves.
    It's almost impossible for Sprint to use the "we are broke, let us merger" defense. Sprint hasn't gone through a bankruptcy yet. They would have to be able to convince the judge that bankruptcy would not help their situation at all, and with Sprint bringing in 30+ billion in revenue per year, that's a hard sell to make. I'm not convinced Sprint can turn it around, but I guess stranger things have happened. I'm neither really for or against the merger in total honesty. I see Tmobiles side, and I see the states side. They both make compelling arguments, I just think bringing dish in as the "savior" was a huge mistake that could very well blow this whole thing up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    ....The narrative from Sprint of "we're just so terrible that we're hopeless" may resonate with those that want this deal to go through,.....
    Sprint's insane debt is an issue that T-Mobile didn't face, plus T-Mobile got $3B and a roaming agreement from AT&T. Added to this, the mobile industry in 2011 was hopelessly broken and inefficient. T-Mobile's actions have changed that. There're no trick cards that Sprint can play.

    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    .... What was stopping dish from deploying their spectrum before, and acquiring those regional carriers?
    Not a bad argument but what Dish lacked was a critical mass of customers plus the right mix of spectrum. With the acquisition of Boost, they have customers to provide cash flow. The MVNO agreement with T-Mobile provides a way to bootstrap the operation by fairly painlessly transitioning that cash flow, without major disruption. The transfer of Sprint's 800 MHz licenses gives Dish an existing basis for rural coverage that's available now, not after the TV stations are done. In short, the planets have come into alignment for it to work. Of course, there is always Charlie to deal with. Frankly, the sooner he sells the package out to someone else, the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    It's almost impossible for Sprint to use the "we are broke, let us merger" defense. Sprint hasn't gone through a bankruptcy yet............ I just think bringing dish in as the "savior" was a huge mistake that could very well blow this whole thing up.
    In bankruptcy the creditors would just pick Sprint apart. They owe too much money. This is something Softbank wants to avoid at all cost as the share value would go negative and the creditors would take control. Yes, Dish's track record is the big issue here but I seem to recall a "last chance" consent agreement. If Dish doesn't actually deliver, the game's up and the FCC takes everything back, to find another company to become the 4th carrier.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Sprint's insane debt is an issue that T-Mobile didn't face, plus T-Mobile got $3B and a roaming agreement from AT&T. Added to this, the mobile industry in 2011 was hopelessly broken and inefficient. T-Mobile's actions have changed that. There're no trick cards that Sprint can play.

    Not a bad argument but what Dish lacked was a critical mass of customers plus the right mix of spectrum. With the acquisition of Boost, they have customers to provide cash flow. The MVNO agreement with T-Mobile provides a way to bootstrap the operation by fairly painlessly transitioning that cash flow, without major disruption. The transfer of Sprint's 800 MHz licenses gives Dish an existing basis for rural coverage that's available now, not after the TV stations are done. In short, the planets have come into alignment for it to work. Of course, there is always Charlie to deal with. Frankly, the sooner he sells the package out to someone else, the better.

    In bankruptcy the creditors would just pick Sprint apart. They owe too much money. This is something Softbank wants to avoid at all cost as the share value would go negative and the creditors would take control. Yes, Dish's track record is the big issue here but I seem to recall a "last chance" consent agreement. If Dish doesn't actually deliver, the game's up and the FCC takes everything back, to find another company to become the 4th carrier.
    I'm not sure if you can call boosts declining base of around 8-9 million users a critical mass of customers. There may be more value in the name and retail locations, than in the actual customer base. There is no doubt dish will operate boost as a mvno of this completed, will dish actually do anything as a mno though is a justifiable concern from the states.


    Yea, but that's arguing hypotheticals in court. Without Sprint ever actually going through a restructuring, they really can't claim that. This isn't a bankruptcy hearing, the judge likely won't get that deep into sprints financials to see who they owe what to. This is the main reason why using "we are broke, let us merger" rarely works in court. (I see a lot of articles claiming it "rarely works" but I haven't been able to find one instance where it has worked in an anti trust lawsuit, it's worked with gaining approvals from various agencies, but I can't find 1 case where it's held up in a court battle) it's a tough sell to convince a judge that the company cannot survive after being restructured with a bankruptcy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by n33d0n3 View Post
    I am sorry but where is the elimination of a 4th carrier. A new one is being created or did we not read the DOJ decision?
    Sprint has about 54 million total customers, which includes 32 million postpaid retail customers.

    Spinning off Boost's 7-8 million customers to Dish, which will operate on T-Mobile's infrastructure for many years, and which will have an extremely hard time attracting additional customers, is hardly creating a 4th national carrier.

    Boost is relatively inexpensive for unlimited data at 4 lines for $100. But it uses Sprint's native network only so coverage is very limited. I think they allow a little voice roaming each month. If the merger goes through then Dish would probably limit service to T-Mobile's native network. Deploying their own nationwide network would take an enormous amount of money and at least a decade. Does Ergen have that much money to spend? Or is he just trying to find a way to keep the spectrum he's been collecting?

    América Móvil (Tracfone, Page Plus, Total Wireless, Net10, Straight Talk, etc.) is more of a national carrier than Dish will be.

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