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US: Charter declines merger offer from Sprint, Softbank

 |  July 31, 2017

Charter Communications says it is not interested in acquiring wireless provider Sprint, an offer that was suggested by Sprint’s parent company Softbank.

Masayoshi Son, who is the founder and CEO of the Tokyo-based telecom and Internet company Softbank, had made the offer, news of which became known. Softbank, which acquired Sprint in 2013, would have maintained control of the resulting media giant.

That apparently was not a suitable result for Charter. “We understand why a deal is attractive for Softbank, but Charter has no interest in acquiring Sprint,” the company said in a statement late Sunday.

Sprint had been in discussion with Charter and Comcast about the pay-TV and broadband providers reselling Sprint’s wireless services, a deal the wireless industry refers to as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, or MVNO.

But Charter appears prepared to do business with Verizon, which already provides wireless capacity to Comcast for its recently launched Xfinity Mobile service. “We have a very good MVNO relationship with Verizon and intend to launch wireless services to cable customers next year,” said Charter’s statement.

Should such a merger come about, it would combine the second-largest cable TV and Internet provider and No. 4 wireless carrier, resulting in a company valued at about US$180 billion.

Full Content: Fortune

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