T-Mobile’s merger with MetroPCS might have been merely an appetizer for things to come, if new reports surfacing today of SoftBank’s interest in acquiring Sprint pan out. SoftBank, a Japan-based telecom, is said to be in talks to purchase the third-largest carrier in the US, a sale that could go as high as $19 billion when all is said and done.
There are reasons to see the move as beneficial to both parties. SoftBank gets an established base from which they can enter the US market while Sprint gets additional financial support. It wouldn’t be the first time SoftBank rose on the coattails of another. The company launched service in Japan in 2006 after the purchase of Vodafone’s stake in the nation’s wireless market.
If a deal is agreed upon, it will leave AT&T as the last national carrier to be fully headquartered in the US.
Update: Sprint has issued a press release confirming the talks. The statement says that the US carrier “is currently engaged in discussions with Softbank regarding a potential substantial investment by Softbank,” while going on to state, “there can be no assurances that these discussions will result in any transaction or on what terms any transaction may occur, such a transaction could involve a change of control of Sprint.”