Son warns on threat to US internet competition

Son warns on threat to US internet competition

29 MAY 2014

Recent M&A activity has left the US with just three giants controlling internet access – both mobile and fixed – said Masayoshi Son (pictured), Sprint’s chairman, taking a new tack in his search for regulatory support to merge with T-Mobile US.

Son was speaking at the Code Conference and his comments were reported by The Wall Street Journal.

AT&T has recently purchased DirecTV for $49 billion and Time Warner has been acquired for $45 billion by Comcast. The third US giant is Verizon Communications.

“Right now, there are three big players out there, and they are getting even bigger,” said Son who is also chairman of SoftBank. “If anyone says four is better than three, I agree with that. We should be the No. 4.”

He also used the occasion to lambast the slow internet speeds endured in the US, including at his own home in Silicon Valley. When asked which provider he used, Son replied: “Comcast”.

It was pointed out to him that Sprint’s own LTE coverage was patchy. “I totally agree,” he answered. “I have only owned the company six months”.

Son’s current line of attack is a variation on a past theme of market power. Back in March, he accused AT&T and Verizon Wireless of being a duopoly with control over nearly three-quarters of postpaid mobile subscribers, as well as 85 per cent of Ebitda.


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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