T-Mobile in talks with Sprint on merger, does not rule out lower price
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Chief Executive John Legere on Thursday acknowledged talks are ongoing with Sprint Corp to extend their merger agreement, but he declined to rule out requesting the $26 billion (£20.29 billion) price be reduced.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - T-Mobile US
The T-Mobile-Sprint deal, announced in spring 2018, has won regulatory approval from the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission but faces a lawsuit from more than a dozen state attorneys general seeking to stop the deal. The previous merger agreement expired last week.
"What I can say is yes we are having conversations as partners about whether and how long we move forward the date... and what if any items should be agreed between the parties in exchange for agreeing to extend those terms," Legere said during a webcast to discuss next generation 5G wireless and other issues.
"It's not a hostile conversation. It's an active one," he said, while giving no sense of when agreement might be reached.
"It’s sort of like going to month-to-month on your rent. There’s no more lease. You continue to move forward."
Sprint said it was not backing away. "We continue to be committed to completing the merger with T-Mobile," Sprint spokeswoman Lisa Belot said in an email.
Legere said a new merger agreement's terms could entail "'How do you handle things that have happened that need to possibly to be indemnified, how do you agree on future things that you will share in order to settle the deal, etc.' It’s a broad array of things."
Legere said his company had made settlement offers to the state attorneys general, who argue that a merger of the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless carriers would mean higher prices for some of the poorest consumers. Legere said he sent them a new letter on Thursday.
"We’ve had very frank discussions," Legere said. "We have made settlement proposals as ways to continue those conversations."
The reference to a possible lower price for Sprint is another piece of bad news for Softbank Group, which owns a big chunk of the U.S. wireless carrier. Softbank took a hit with WeWork, which abandoned a public offering, and on Wednesday it announced its first quarterly loss in 14 years.
Legere was speaking at an event to announce initiatives that he said were dependent on the merger proceeding: giving first-responders free access to 5G wireless; a plan to help children without access to the internet do homework; and a $15 per month prepaid service with unlimited talk, text and 2GB of high-speed smartphone data..
He also said the company planned to launch 5G services on Dec. 6.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz and David Shepardson; Additional reporting by Supantha Mukherjee; Editing by Dan Grebler)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
U.S. home sales fall as tight supply boosts prices | Reuters
France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.