Sprint anticipates M&A interest from cable giants as FCC ‘quiet period’ lifted

28 Apr 2017

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) so-called ‘quiet period’ – which required US telecoms operators to avoid negotiating mergers and acquisitions for the duration of the recently concluded 600MHz Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction – has now been lifted, potentially paving the way for another series of high-profile deals. Bloomberg reports that Sprint is likely to be at the heart of any activity, with people familiar with the situation noting that Sprint expects to receive formal overtures from cable giants Comcast, Charter Communications and Altice USA, as well as receiving an approach from bitter rival T-Mobile US.

In a related development, Sprint’s Japanese parent Softbank Group Corp is reportedly considering a number of options which will allow it to leverage its vast spectrum portfolio, which comprises frequencies in the 800MHz (ex-iDEN), 1900MHz and 2500MHz (ex-WiMAX) bands. Among the options on the table, the cellco may even spin off some of its airwaves into a separate, publicly traded company, Bloomberg added.

United States, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), SoftBank Group Corp, Sprint Corporation (now part of T-Mobile US)