SoftBank CEO attacks top two US operators as oligopoly

SoftBank CEO attacks top two US operators as oligopoly

12 FEB 2014

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son (pictured), whose company owns US number three operator Sprint which is linked to a bid for fourth-placed T Mobile US, described the country’s market leaders as an oligopoly, according to Reuters.

Speaking during SoftBank’s quarterly earnings, Son said without consolidation Sprint’s chances of grabbing the number one spot in the US was just “a dream”.

However recent reports have cited scepticism among US regulators towards a deal uniting the country’s third and fourth placed operators.

Son declined to confirm his company’s interest in acquiring smaller rival T-Mobile US during the results meeting.

According to GSMA Intelligence figures for Q4 2013, market leaders AT&T (32 per cent) and Verizon Wireless (34 per cent) together have a two-thirds share of mobile connections in the US, compared to 16 per cent for Sprint and T-Mobile US’ 13.5 per cent.

Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse are set to decide in the next few weeks whether to press ahead with a bid for T-Mobile US after talks with US regulators, said sources.

The SoftBank CEO is also set for a meeting with executives from T-Mobile US and Deutsche Telekom.

In its results, SoftBank reported a one per cent fall in net income to JPY93.3 billion ($910 million) in the three months to the end of December, following losses at Sprint. The US operator this week announced a $1 billion quarterly loss.

The Japanese company’s sales in Q3 more than doubled to JPY1.96 trillion thanks to strong sales domestically of Apple’s iPhone 5, emphasising how a strong performance in its home market has fuelled ambition to grow in the US.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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