Masayoshi Son, Sprint chairman, is planning a direct appeal to the US business community that consolidation in the country’s telecoms sector should be welcomed.
According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, Son – CEO of Japan’s SoftBank, which owns nearly 80 per cent of Sprint – will use his presentation to the Chamber of Commerce on 11 March to extol the merits of having fewer market players.
Sprint, the third-largest mobile operator in the US, is linked with a bid for fourth-placed T Mobile US (67 per cent owned by Deutsche Telekom).
US anti-trust officials, however, have expressed doubt that a tie-up between Sprint and T-Mobile US would be given the green light.
Son, for his part, has accused the big two – AT&T and Verizon Wireless – of running an effective duopoly in which prices are kept artificially high and innovation is thwarted.
“Every time I make a business trip to the US, I am reminded how terrible connections are there,” he said during a February news conference quoted by the WSJ.
He added that Sprint wouldn’t be able to mount an effective challenge to AT&T and Verizon Wireless on its own and that the US had one of the world’s highest mobile fees. The principles of competition, he argued, were not working.