Who Does Sprint Compete With?

File:How mobile phones are overtaking landlines in Africa.jpgWho does Sprint compete with?” is a question SoftBank CEO Maysaoshi Son will try to get regulators to think about as he gives a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on March 11, 2014.

Facing skepticism about a Sprint bid to acquire T-Mobile US, which would reduce the number of national mobile providers from four to three, Son will try to reframe the issue, focusing instead on whether consumers would be helped by the gaining of a third national competitor to telco and cable TV fixed network Internet access services.

Son hopes the reframing will shift thinking from market structure in the mobile business to market structure in the fixed network Internet access business.

Whether that clever bit of “spin” will have any impact is the issue. Regulators are likely to argue that if that was what Sprint really wanted to do, it could do so already.

And, in fact, to a large extent, mobile Internet access already provides most of the access, in terms of number of connections, everywhere.

One might bet that the effort to re-frame a potential merger will have no impact.

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