Ina Fried

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Hesse, Masayoshi Son Met With FCC to Pitch SoftBank-Sprint Deal

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son met last week with members of the Federal Communications Commission to pitch the benefits of their proposed deal.


In a regulatory filing with the commission, Sprint confirmed the meeting as well as details of its pitch for approval of the deal.

SoftBank has proposed acquiring a controlling interest in Sprint as well as enabling Sprint to acquire the rest of Clearwire — a move supported by Clearwire’s board but opposed by some Clearwire shareholders.

Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch also attended the March 14 meeting with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and other members of the commission.

The company is willing to pump more than $20 billion into Sprint, with more than $12 billion going to shareholders and $8 billion funneled into improving Sprint’s network.

During the meeting, Son explained what he had done in creating one of Japan’s largest wireless providers after entering as an upstart in 2006 by purchasing Vodafone’s Japanese wireless interests.

“Through innovative products, pricing, and marketing, SoftBank is now poised to become the second largest wireless provider in Japan,” Sprint said in the filing. “Mr. Son explained that through SoftBank’s investment in Sprint, he hopes to bring a similar competitive spark to the U.S. wireless marketplace.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik