Central Standard
2:04 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

The Biggest Deal

What does $20.1 billion get you?  Well, if you're Japan's SoftBank Corp., it gets you 70% of the third-largest wireless carrier in the United States.

In a deal that made news worldwide, the Japanese company's move will make Sprint Nextel Corp. a consolidated subsidiary of SoftBank.  On Thursday's Central Standard, Jabulani Leffall talks with business and economic reporters, and experts in telecom mergers and the digital economy to learn what the acquisition means for both companies.  With a combined debt of $25 billion, can SoftBank's infusion of cash allow Sprint to finally break the hold the duopoly of Verizon and AT&T has on wireless service in this country, and what will be the local impact of this deal?

Mark Davis writes about economics for The Kansas City Star where he has the column "Road to  Riches" which appears each Saturday.  In addition he follows Sprint Nextel Corp. exclusively in the Star's "Sprint Connection" webpage and as well as writing for its "Dollars and Sense" website.

Alyson Raletz covers technology, telecommunications and entrepreneurship as a reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal.  Raletz writes and blogs about some of Kansas City’s largest employers, from Sprint Nextel Corp. to Garmin Ltd. to DST Systems Inc.  Alyson also keeps a pulse on small technology businesses and startups.  She previously served as a legal reporter for Missouri Lawyers Weekly and covered the Missouri Legislature as a political correspondent for the St. Joseph News-Press.  Alyson Raletz has received recognition from the Missouri and Kansas press associations for investigative reporting and news and feature writing.

Jim Lakely is Director of Communications at The Heartland Institute and Co-Director of Heartland’s Center on the Digital Economy. Prior to joining Heartland in 2008, Lakely spent 16 years in daily-deadline journalism.  A former White House correspondent for The Washington Times, Lakely has appeared on C-SPAN, the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN.  He’s been an editorial writer and columnist for the Tribune-Review in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia; and The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California.  Jim's writings on technology policy have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post, and The Chicago Sun-Times.  Born in New York City, Lakely spent his formative years in Dayton, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992.

Dr. Raed Sbeit is an IT Technical Release Program Manager for Verizon and an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas.  Sbeit received both his Master Degree in Software Engineering and his Doctorate in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University.  He is the author of "Telecom Mergers Economical and Technological Effects, Verizon As Case Study."

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