WASHINGTON Feb 3 Sprint Corp Chairman
Masayoshi Son is slated to meet with Federal Communications
Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday, an FCC official said,
as the No. 3 U.S. wireless provider mulls a potential bid for
smaller rival T-Mobile US Inc.
Son's Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp acquired Sprint
last year and has recently been in talks to acquire T-Mobile US,
sources have told Reuters.
FCC chiefs routinely meet with industry executives in
sessions that often cover a wide range of topics. Sprint Chief
Executive Dan Hesse was also scheduled to attend Monday's
meeting, the FCC official said, speaking anonymously because the
FCC chairman's schedule is not public.
Son in recent weeks has been pushing for more consolidation
in a U.S. wireless market dominated by four major providers:
Verizon Communications Inc, AT&T Inc, Sprint and
Sprint has been interested in combining with T-Mobile for
years and top executives from both companies have argued that
consolidation was necessary in the U.S. wireless market, as
cooperation in infrastructure and equipment orders would create
a stronger rival against the biggest players, Verizon and AT&T.
However, the deal would face strong headwinds in getting
regulators' approval at the Justice Department and the FCC.
U.S. antitrust chief, William Baer, last week reiterated his
skepticism toward any mergers between any of the two top four
wireless phone companies.
Baer and Wheeler have both hailed the 2011 rejection of a
merger between AT&T and T-Mobile as yielding a more competitive
market that is better for consumers.
AT&T over the weekend announced a plan to cut prices on its
large shared data plans in the latest sign that the rivalry
between the top U.S. cellular players may be triggering