US mobile carriers Sprint, T-Mobile to merge: report

T-Mobile ranks third among US wireless carriers by subscribers. (AFP)
Updated 14 October 2017

US mobile carriers Sprint, T-Mobile to merge: report

TOKYO: Japan’s SoftBank has reached a broad accord to merge its US subsidiary Sprint with T-Mobile to create a rival to America’s top two wireless carriers, a newspaper said Saturday.
SoftBank and German group Deutsche Telekom, which holds 64 percent of T-Mobile, are considering a stock swap for the deal, which could be announced as early as this month, the Nikkei daily said.
The two will also discuss details of the planned merger, including ownership ratios, the business daily said.
The Japanese telecom giant is also planning to begin procedures for the approval of the US Federal Communications Commission and the US Department of Justice, the report said.
Immediate confirmation of the news report was not available.
T-Mobile ranks third among US wireless carriers by subscribers, followed by Sprint in fourth place, the Nikkei said.
Together, the pair would have 131 million subscribers, which would see them virtually match second-ranked AT&T and pose stiff competition to market leader Verizon Communications, it said.
SoftBank has long sought to combine the two firms but appeared to abandon the plan due to likely opposition from US regulators.
But the prospects for consolidation among US carriers have brightened with the pro-deregulation stance of President Donald Trump, the Nikkei said.
SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son was among the first businessmen to meet Trump after his election victory last year.
SoftBank’s founder pledged to invest $50 billion in business and job-creation in the US, winning praise from Trump.


Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

Updated 10 December 2019

Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

  • Mohammed Al-Jadaan: There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully
  • The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year

RIYADH: Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan pledged that there would be no more taxes or fees introduced in the Kingdom until the social and economic impact of such a move had been fully reviewed.

He was speaking at the 2020 Budget Meeting Sessions, organized by the Ministry of Finance and held in Riyadh on Tuesday, where a number of ministers and senior officials gathered following the publication of the budget on Monday evening.

“There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully, especially in terms of economic competitiveness,” said Al-Jadaan.

The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year and more than 10 percent higher than the expected budget for this year. 

Most of that increase has come from taxes on goods and services which rose substantially as a result of the improvement in economic activity over the year.

The reassurances from the minister come as the Saudi budget deficit is estimated to widen to about SR187 billion, next year, or about 6.4 percent of GDP.