SoftBank recorded $1.4 billion in profit over the fourth quarter of its 2017 fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, beating analyst estimates by over ten-percent and showing optimism regarding its long-term prospects. Sprint itself reported its best quarterly profit ever earlier this month, with the firm now being set to join forces with T-Mobile in a deal that will see SoftBank lose control of the Overland Park, Kansas-based mobile service provider. SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son called this loss of power "embarrassing" during a briefing in Tokyo earlier this week, having acknowledged he often publicly boasted about not being willing to cease its controlling stake in Sprint but now had to go back on that stance. "I think some short-term shame is worth bearing if there is a longer-term victory and a more meaningful gain to be had," Mr. Son concluded.
The industry veteran reiterated the 5G argument behind T-Mobile and Sprint's proposed merger, having stated how the two have complementary spectrum holdings that will allow them to deploy the next generation of mobile connectivity in a much swifter manner when combined than what any individual effort would accomplish. T-Mobile CEO John Legere recently claimed the vertical merger will create more competition in the stateside wireless industry than it takes out, presenting an argument that many analysts remain skeptical about, though the consolidation is universally interpreted as being extremely positive for investors, having the potential to create over $40 billion in synergies.
Even some U.S. regulators are intrigued by the merger pitch, though the proposed tie-up is now set to be subjected to strict antitrust reviews from the Federal Communications Commission, Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission. Sprint and T-Mobile are hoping to see the all-stock deal valued at $26.5 billion approved in the first half of 2019, with no breakup fee being agreed between the two, save for a penalty T-Mobile would have to pay in an unlikely scenario wherein it walks away from the tie-up. SoftBank will be left with approximately a quarter of a stake in the combined entity, whereas T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom will keep nearly half of it.