Sprint, Softbank, Clearwire, and Dish

Full disclosure:  I work for Sprint and I am a shareholder (I would also like to keep my job!).

Some people may question the legality of posting something like this but not only is all information in this post 100% public but if investment firms and US lawmakers (all with a conflict of interest when making statements like these) can make statements on the subject, then I can, too.

There is a lot of fear-mongering going on now against the proposed Softbank buyout of Sprint.  The issue is that this is nothing more than an attempt to make a quick buck at the cost of tens of thousands of jobs and millions of customers.

Recently Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John McCain (R-AZ) raised flags claiming that if Softbank purchased Sprint there would be a risk of a Chinese cyber-attack on US wireless networks.  First, it should be noted that McCain has received over $44,000 and Schumer has received over $34,000 in campaign contributions from Dish Network.  Right there should be your first flag.

Even beyond that – their claims are unfounded.  They think that as soon as a Japanese company owns a US wireless carrier it will open the entire country to cyber attack.  Funny how they didn’t seem to think that when AT&T Wireless used to be owned (in part) by Docomo (a wireless carrier in Japan).  The biggest flaw in this claim is that the equipment will not change which means any “risks” are already there in all wireless carriers considering most phones are made overseas by companies based overseas (Samsung is based in South Korea, Nokia is based in Finland, HTC is based in Taiwan, LG is based in South Korea).  Much of the electronics, most electronics in the USA, is also made in these countries as well as other countries like China.  The network equipment itself (last I knew) is made by Motorola, Agilent Tech (both in the USA), and Nortel (Canadian).

Also, if Dish were to buy Sprint then you can expect that the vast majority of Sprint employees (over 40,000) will get laid off quickly for two main cost cutting reasons, first to reduce redundancy since Dish already has a large workforce here in the USA but to also to pay off the tens of billions of dollars in debt they’ll be after the buyout. Softbank will need the current infrastructure to keep Sprint running.  Dish’s intentions can also be shown in the CEO’s continual statements on bandwidth which hints that is his only reason to want to buy Sprint – to gobble up the bandwidth (and essentially make Sprint disappear).  Softbank will give Sprint the cash to make improvements on their network infrastructure.

Dish is also allegedly behind a large campaign in some areas showing that their buyout of Sprint would be better for the employees – despite the fact that Dish is routinely rated as one of the worst companies to work for in the USA.  How is this better?

Some investment firms are also sending out letters to people telling them to vote against the Softbank merger – this is mainly because the Dish buyout will give more money initially despite the fact that Softbank’s deal could give Sprint some much needed cash and help the stock prices go even higher than Dish’s proposed bid.  These forms are more concerned about a quick buck than the economy (how is laying off 40,000+ people good for the economy?).

So I am asking, as a person who will be directly affected at how this will play out, if you are a Sprint shareholder, to vote FOR the Softbank buyout of Sprint.  This will, in my opinion, be the best option for Sprint employees, customers, and the US economy.

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