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Times of London: Sprint Parent SoftBank Lays Groundwork for Takeover of Charter/Spectrum

Phillip Dampier March 12, 2018 Charter Spectrum, Competition, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Sprint 1 Comment

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son

Japan’s SoftBank “has laid the groundwork” for a $100 billion bid to acquire Charter Communications, better known to its customers as Spectrum, and merge it with Sprint, the American wireless company it controls, according to a report this morning in the Times of London.

London financial district sources leaked information early Monday morning that SoftBank’s billionaire CEO Masayoshi Son has already quietly purchased nearly 5% of Charter Communications stock, a prerequisite for launching a takeover bid. By purchasing a solid stake in Charter, the company hopes to be to taken more seriously about its proposition to combine America’s second largest cable company with the country’s fourth largest wireless carrier.

This isn’t the first time SoftBank has expressed an interest in a merger with Charter. Late in 2017, Masayoshi approached both Charter and its largest shareholder, Dr. John Malone, about the prospect of a merger. Malone was reportedly lukewarm about the deal, while Charter CEO Thomas Rutledge and the rest of his management team opposed the deal. But apart from Malone and Rutledge, many of Charter’s top shareholders were in favor of a merger — particularly the Newhouse family, which sold its interests in Bright House Networks, a mid-sized cable operator, to Charter in 2016.

Masayoshi has been a strong advocate of consolidation in the wireless industry, and has repeatedly lobbied for permission to acquire T-Mobile USA to combine it with Sprint. But regulator concerns during the Obama Administration made such a deal impossible. By targeting the acquisition of a cable operator, SoftBank can argue the transaction will have no material impact on competition because Sprint and Charter Communications operate different businesses.

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. kaniki says:

    I have mixed feelings. On one hand, sprint is not half as greedy as the current group running spectrum.. But, on the other hand, sprint has been known to “not do” what they need to, to stay competitive too.. The fact T-Mobile has gone from forth, to a now a strong 3rd.. Maybe even 2nd is some categories.. should tell how much sprint has been slacking off in doing what they need to, to keep things up. Knowing this, it makes me wonder how they would run spectrum?? In prices, I welcome them.., But in keeping up with things, not so much. Still, overall, I welcome them, as spectrum has turned into nothing but a greedy, dishonest company.







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