Tag Archives: Integrated Telecommunications Services (TRBC)

U.S. judge expected to rule in favor of merger of Sprint, T-Mobile: sources

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(Reuters) – A U.S. district judge is expected to rule in favor of allowing Sprint and T-Mobile to merge over the objections of a group of state attorneys general, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

A smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration taken April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Shares of Sprint surged 69% in after hours trade and T-Mobile stock rose 8%.

U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero is expected to make his decision public on Tuesday, one source said.

Approval of the deal would be a high profile defeat for state attorneys general, led by New York and California, who had argued that a merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 U.S. wireless carriers would lead to higher prices, especially for customers who use prepaid plans popular with people with poorer credit.

The deal has already been approved by federal regulators.

The companies had said the deal was needed to help them build out next generation of wireless, called 5G, and better compete with sector leaders Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc.

Executives from the companies, including outspoken T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere, testified during the trial that Sprint’s business was deteriorating and would not survive if it did not merge with T-Mobile.

The two companies are expected to start talks on renegotiating the terms of their $26.5 billion merger in the next few days, two sources said.

T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom is keen to cut the price of the deal, arguing that Sprint’s fortunes have deteriorated since they inked their agreement, the sources added.

However, Sprint, in which Japan’s Softbank Group has a major stake, is expected to argue that T-Mobile needs Sprint in order to grow its cashflow and to boost its capacity using its spectrum, according to the sources.

There is no certainty that there will be a renegotiated deal, the sources cautioned.

The Court did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Sprint and T-Mobile both declined to comment.

One merger opponent, Gigi Sohn, a former telecoms regulator now at Georgetown Law, tweeted her displeasure with reports of the decision. “If #antitrust law doesn’t even block a 4-3 merger like this, we need to start from scratch,” she tweeted, referring to the market shrinking to three from four competitors. “I’ll have more to say tomorrow after I read the judge’s decision (through my tears).”

While a group of states decided to fight the deal in court, the federal government approved it with conditions, a decision which remain in effect.

The U.S. Justice Department approved the deal in July after the carriers agreed to sell some assets to satellite provider Dish Network Corp, which would create its own cellular network to ensure that there would still be four competitors in the market. The Federal Communications Commission signed off on the deal in October. Dish shares rose 2% after hours.

The states maintained that Dish was ill-equipped to become a competitive fourth wireless carrier.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that the court was expected to approve the deal on Tuesday.

Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington and Greg Roumeliotis in New York, David Shepardson in DC and Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Uttaresh.V and Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Vivendi in talks to promote 10% of Common Music Group to Tencent

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PARIS (Reuters) – Vivendi (VIV.PA) is in talks to promote a 10% stake in its prized and profitable Common Music Group (UMG) to Chinese language tech firm Tencent (0700.HK) because it seeks to develop its presence in Asia.

FILE PHOTO: The emblem of Common Music Group (UMG) is seen at a constructing in Zurich, Switzerland July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photograph – RC1EE289B960

UMG is the world’s largest music label forward of Sony Music Leisure and Warner Music, and is dwelling to artists similar to Girl Gaga, Taylor Swift, Drake and Kendrick Lamar.

The French media conglomerate stated on Tuesday that the deal would give UMG a preliminary fairness valuation of 30 billion euros ($33.6 billion) – higher than some had forecast – and that Tencent had an possibility to purchase an additional 10% of UMG.

Vivendi shares surged 7% as analysts welcomed the progress made on the sale of a stake in UMG and the valuation.

A cope with Tencent would increase UMG’s presence within the tightly managed Chinese language market and match nicely with the Chinese language firm’s Tencent Music Leisure (TME.N) unit.

“The valuation seems to be good, and the progress made on the UMG deal can also be optimistic,” stated Gregory Moore, fund supervisor at Keren Finance, which owns Vivendi shares.

Vivendi’s Chief Government Officer Arnaud de Puyfontaine stated final month that proceeds of the sale of as much as 50% of UMG can be used for bolt-on acquisitions and “vital” share buybacks.

Managed by billionaire Vincent Bollore, Vivendi is in search of to money in on the rising public thirst for subscription and ad-based music streaming companies, which have propelled UMG’s income over the past 4 years.

“Along with Tencent, Vivendi hopes to enhance the promotion of UMG’s artists, with whom UMG has created the best catalog of recordings and songs ever, in addition to establish and promote new abilities in new markets,” Vivendi stated in an announcement.

Vivendi first informed markets it might promote a part of UMG a 12 months in the past however had made little progress till asserting final month that it had chosen funding banks to begin a proper sale means of a minority stake, which must be finalised by the beginning of subsequent 12 months.

Funding banks have estimated the enterprise is value something between 17 billion to 44 billion euros.

Vivendi additionally stated on Tuesday that it was persevering with the method to promote additional minority stakes in UMG to different companions.

($1 = 0.8925 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Enhancing by Kirsten Donovan

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