The last time Sprint made a major acquisition in the wireless space, it turned out to bean unmitigated disaster for both its own customers and for the company itself. Sprint’s 2005 merger with Nextel was the start of a downward spiral for Sprint that saw it lose millions of wireless subscribers to AT&T and Verizon and that saw it fall far behind in the race to deploy LTE due to its decision to instead use WiMAX as its 4G technology.
Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son is scheduled to meet with the head of the Federal Communications Commission Monday as he continues to press the case for consolidation in the U.S. wireless business. The meeting will cover a range of issues and wasn’t called to discuss a specific transaction, a person familiar with the matter said. But Mr. Son is expected to argue for allowing mergers that would create a viable competitor to market leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Son is chief executive of Japan’s SoftBank, which bought Sprint last year and has been working on a possible bid for smaller rival T-Mobile US to bulk up further in the U.S. market.