Reporter Mark Davis covers Sprint and the wireless industry for the Kansas City Star. He sat down with KCUR's Susan Wilson to discuss the details of the Sprint-SoftBank deal, and what it means for Sprint customers and the Kansas City area at large.
Here are four major takeaways from the interview:
1. Sprint customers should see better service
The Sprint-SoftBank deal is growing the resources available to Sprint to compete in the U.S. wireless market. Current customers can expect the company to use these resources to build incentives for customers of other companies to switch carriers, possibly including the expansion of a higher-speed wireless network. These incentives should benefit current customers as well.
2. People are not expected to lose their jobs
Because SoftBank is a Japanese company, the deal is different than most mergers in that both parties do not have overlapping markets. SoftBank is in Japan, and Sprint in the United States. They were not competing before the deal was made. Therefore, there is no need to consolidate resources and jobs. In fact, the deal is expected to create jobs in the long run. Though, there is no way to tell whether those jobs will be in the Kansas City area or elsewhere.
3. Sprint will remain a separate company
Consider the Sprint-SoftBank deal as more of a partnership than a merger. The two companies are the number three wireless company in their respective countries, and have been working together for nine months now. Even though SoftBank will own most of Sprint's stock, a sizeable chunk of stock will still be open for trading, and Sprint will remain a separate company.
4. Sprint will remain a Kansas City-based company
Sprint will still be a separate company from SoftBank, and is expected to maintain its headquarters in Kansas City, and the current CEO will remain in place. Again, because this is not a consolidating merger, there will likely be no need to move resources.