Since the election ended, and Donald Trump became President-Elect, there's been a lot of talk about what this new administration will mean for wireless. Many analysts believe that the Trump administration will allow for some consolidation in the wireless industry, something that the Obama administration was against. However, Trump did say on the campaign trail that he would block the AT&T-Time Warner merger if he won the presidency. So there's some mixed signals here. Now we're learning that SoftBank's CEO, Masayoshi Son is set to meet with the President-Elect on Tuesday in New York City. It's not known what will be on the agenda for this meeting with President-Elect Trump on Tuesday, but one would have to imagine that acquiring T-Mobile is high on the list.
Son and others believe that the Trump administration will be a bit more lenient in consolidating wireless, seeing as those he's named for the FCC already have said that the FCC has too much control already. And that they should only regulate spectrum. However, Trump's words before he won the presidency are a bit different. With these mixed signals, it's tough to determine what Trump may do when he takes office next month.
After purchasing Sprint in 2013, the SoftBank CEO had planned on purchasing T-Mobile USA as well and merging the two to form a stronger carrier to compete with Verizon and AT&T. But regulators repeatedly told him that they would shoot down such a merger. After nearly a year of lobbying, Son decided to step back and wait for the new administration to take office in January 2017. Since then, Sprint lost their third position to T-Mobile, and is now in a somewhat distant fourth position. Son will likely start lobbying the new administration in the next few weeks, to allow SoftBank to purchase T-Mobile USA. However, things have changed for T-Mobile and Sprint. T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom isn't desperate to leave the US like they were a few years ago. T-Mobile USA has made a huge turnaround, and is actually one of their more profitable companies. Which means their price for T-Mobile USA is going to go up, and that may be more than what Son wants to spend.
There likely won't be much news coming out of this meeting, other than from "people familiar with the matter". But Son could be setting up for some more investments in the US.