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Sprint-Softbank filing

Sprint-Softbank filing

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Published by Brendan Sasso
Softbank files with FCC to buy Sprint
Softbank files with FCC to buy Sprint

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Published by: Brendan Sasso on Nov 15, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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In the Matter of Applications of Sprint Nextel Corporation,Transferor SOFTBANK CORP., and Starburst II, Inc.,Transfereesfor Consent to Transfer of Control of Licensesand Authorizations))))))))))IBDocket No. ______ 
Regina M. KeeneyA. Richard Metzger, Jr.Charles W. Logan
Lawler, Metzger, Keeney & Logan, LLC2001 K St., N.W., Suite 802Washington, DC20006(202) 777-7700
 Its Counsel 
John R. FeoreMichael Pryor J.G. Harrington
Dow Lohnes PLLC1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20036(202) 776-2000
 Its Counsel 
 November 15, 2012
The Applicantsrequest FCC authorization for SOFTBANK CORP.(“SoftBank”) toacquire an approximately70percentcontrolling interest in Sprint Nextel Corporation (“Sprint”).This transaction represents an investment of more than $20billion in the U.S. wireless industrythat promises to stimulate economic growth and provide substantial public interest benefits withno countervailing public interest harms. Because SoftBankhas no attributable interests in anyU.S. wireless carriers,and does not compete with Sprintin providing wireless communicationsservices, the proposed transaction poses no risk of competitive harmto the U.S. wireless market.To the contrary, the transaction is expected to greatly stimulate wireless competition andinnovation. Itoffers the potential to transformthe U.S. wireless marketplaceby creating a morevibrant rival to compete with today’s two predominant wireless providers, Verizon Wireless andAT&T.The transaction is intended toinvigorate competition by providingSprint the financialresources needed to accelerate and expand its wireless broadband deployment. SoftBank’s $20.1 billion investment includes a direct infusion in Sprint of $8 billion in new capital, allowingSprint to strengthen its balance sheet and lower its borrowing costs. This stronger financialfoundation canenable Sprint to increase its network investment,accelerate its broadbanddeployment across multiple spectrum bands, and improve its coverage. Sprint anticipates takingadvantage of its strengthened financial position byofferinga wider range of devices and servicesto consumers. Sprint also anticipates taking advantage of other market opportunities to enhanceits ability to provide superior service to its customers.The transaction thus promises to increasethe speed,coverage, reliability,and capabilitiesof Sprint’s wireless broadbandnetwork and offeconsumers a more competitive choice in a broadband world.
iiThe transaction also is expected to enhance Sprint’s ability to obtain more favorableterms for mobile equipment, handsets,and applications. After the transaction, SoftBank’swireless holdings in Japan and the United Stateswill serve approximately 92millionsubscribers.
Sprint anticipates achievingeconomies of scale similar to thoseenjoyed in theUnited States only by Verizon and AT&T. SoftBank/Sprintshouldbe a more attractive partner for handset manufacturers and application developers, stimulating innovation that will greatly benefit consumers. The transaction allowsSprint to benefit from SoftBank’s leadership indeveloping and investing in cutting-edge mobile Internet technologiesand services. Access toSoftBank’s expertise and resourcescan assist Sprint indevelopinga range of new content, programming, and services for U.S. consumers.The strong public interest benefits of this proposed transaction are illustrated byexamining the results of a very similar investment SoftBankmade in Japan in 2006 –aninvestment that has transformed the wireless marketplace in Japanand brought enormous benefits to Japanese consumers. In 2006, SoftBankacquired Vodafone’s Japanese wirelessoperations,whose16percentsubscriber share of the wireless market laggedbehindthe 80 percentcombined share of its two largerrivals, NTT DOCOMO, Inc. (“DoCoMo”),and KDDICORPORATION (“KDDI”), both of which are affiliated with incumbent, formermonopolywireline providers. Within months of that acquisition, SoftBankbrought competitive pricing tothe Japanese wireless market,beganinvestingheavily in Vodafone’sJapanese operations(renamed SoftBank Mobile), and introduced a series of innovative products and services.SoftBank’s formula for successful market entryis to gain a firm understanding of customer 
The total number of subscribers of Sprint, SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp.,andWILLCOM, Inc.

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