Outlandish Google Rumor Of The Day: Google To Buy Sprint - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
11/12/2007
09:32 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
50%
50%

Outlandish Google Rumor Of The Day: Google To Buy Sprint

What good are Monday mornings without serving up some fantastical new rumor? Today's tasty dish? Google is looking to buy Sprint. Why would Google do such a thing? To get its hands on Sprint's WiMax spectrum and avoid the FCC 700 MHz auction altogether.

What good are Monday mornings without serving up some fantastical new rumor? Today's tasty dish? Google is looking to buy Sprint. Why would Google do such a thing? To get its hands on Sprint's WiMax spectrum and avoid the FCC 700 MHz auction altogether.That Google has its eye on the mobile market is obvious. If last week's Android mobile platform announcement didn't convince you, perhaps re-reading some of Google's actions regarding the upcoming FCC 700 MHz auction will refresh your memory. Bottom line? Google wants in. Badly. After all, there are gobs of untapped advertising dollars to be made on today's Internet-connected mobile phones, right?

How would buying a telecommunications company help Google do that? Well, having a carrier all to itself would certainly give it a leg up, but that would likely create other, bigger headaches for Google.

Rich Tehrani, who seems to be the one behind this rumor, outlines why such a move would cause turbulence for Google. He writes:

* Google gets into the messy business of telecommunications. I don't mean to say Google's day job is easy, but the telecom market gets it involved with government agencies like the FCC on a more regular basis. Like many other large telcos, the company will have to spend more and more money lobbying and technology differentiation may be less important than government regulations in ensuring future success.

* Getting seriously into the telco business and having a corporate motto "Don't be Evil," may be tough to pull off.

* Retail stores. Google's investors love the fact that Google has a massively scalable business model which can grow with the addition of servers. Imagine if Google had a slew of retail stores to deal with around the country (or world?). Google's valuation would likely take a major hit.

* Open Handset Alliance: One would imagine if Google owns its own network, other network operators would not be too happy to be part of the OHA. This could slow progress for Google getting on the handsets of other wireless service providers.

* A purchase of Sprint Nextel would make Verizon and AT&T go crazy and they would make life even more difficult for the search leader. Could they make life any more difficult than they do today? Maybe.

Tehrani makes some good points. In Tehrani's full post, he briefly explores the WiMax spectrum idea. I think the spectrum licenses and network would be the real reason for Google to make any sort of telco purchase. Not that buying Sprint in its entirety would be cheaper than shelling out $4.6 billion or more in next year's 700 MHz auction, but it would give Google the network infrastructure already in place, rather than leave it with the unenviable task of having to build its own.

Though Google appears to be making bolder and bolder moves in its quest for power, I'd file this rumor in the way-too-early-to-tell category.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Commentary
Where Cloud Spending Might Grow in 2021 and Post-Pandemic
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/19/2020
Slideshows
The Ever-Expanding List of C-Level Technology Positions
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/10/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Slideshows
Flash Poll