(Updated) Japanese Carrier Softbank Rumored To Be Looking At Sprint Purchase For $19 Billion

Update: According to BloombergSprint is confirming talks with SoftBank over a “substantial investment.” 

Any concerns Deutsche Telekom might have over a possible MetroPCS bidding war with Sprint may be unnecessary if a new round of rumors about Sprint Nextel Corp are correct. According to Japan’s Nikkei Newspaper, Softbank Corp, Japan’s third largest mobile phone company is in “advanced” talks to buy a controlling share of Sprint for $19 billion.

The Japanese paper did not reveal where it got the information, but a Sprint purchase could alter the US landscape in a big way. A big cash influx into Sprint would provide an opportunity to try to compete with their larger rivals as well as providing Softbank an entrance into the US market.

Jennifer Fritzsche, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC says “Sprint represents the only way for a potential new entrant to get a national presence immediately in the US.”

Sprint’s ownership stake in Clearwire would be of great value should any deal with Softbank come to pass due to both companies using airwaves in the same frequency and the same TDD LTE variant of network technology.

With yesterdays report that Sprint was holding off on any immediate counter-bid for MetroPCS communications, investors may see any potential deal with Softbank as increasing the chances for a T-Mobile merger with MetroPCS.


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  • Jay J. Blanco

    I hope Softbank is financially stable because Sprint financially is a sinking ship there stocks is 10 Dollars a share lol Good Luck with that Softbank-Sprint !

    • Little Jimmy

      I hope SoftBank is financially stable, because Sprint is a sinking ship. Their stocks are 10 dollars a share, LOL! Good Luck with that, SoftBank/Sprint !
      Fixed. Now we can all understand you.

      • Secret Shopper #42

        I hope Softbank is financially stable because Sprint is a sinking ship. Their stock is 10 dollars per share. LOL! Good luck with that, SoftBank/Sprint!
        Minor fixes.
        (it’s actually $5.76/share after a 14% jump today ..but, who’s counting)

        • taron19119

          According 2 wikipedia they have 3 trillion dollars

        • No, wrong. According to wikipedia they had REVENUE last year of 3 trillion YEN not dollars. HUGE difference there. Also revenue doesn’t equate to cash on hand. If this is how you use Wikipedia then it won’t help you at all.

  • Paul

    Buy Sprint
    Acquire Clear
    Sell Sprint

    • umad

      If that happens, I hope that DT will buy all Sprint’s spectrum (especially to 800 mhz ones and 1900 mhz PCS)

  • T-MO Fan

    I am honestly shocked that Sprint has a larger market share over T-MO. I have yet to have a Sprint user ever rave about their network and stability. I always here I hate them.. Yet they are larger. I don’t get it! Magenta has been more consistant, reliable, and better value for me as I am a 10 year customer. Sprint should just go away. DT should just buy them and gobble them up.

    • Ohio

      Where I live people usually get a better signal than T-Mobile.. it’s sad :( But I still love T-Mobile more!!

      • Ohio

        they get a better signal with Sprint**

        • kevev

          Same here. San Antonio has always been a spotty area for T-Mobile. Sprint has consistent 3G coverage here.

        • Ohio

          although T-Mobile does have faster speeds usually.. just harder to find an actual signal :(

        • od312

          Very true

        • Where I work tmo has Edge everyone else’s phones state 4G or HSPA or 3G on Sprint. At home my phone reads 4G. The edge network in the town I work in is ridiculously slow on top of that, but I do get full bars, at home I’m usually missing one or two bars.

    • Fone shaq wireless

      Acquisitions my friend. Boost and virgin have around 15 million customers.

  • rikerlore

    They are turning Japanese I really think so..sorry I couldn’t resist

  • guest

    I was on Sprint’s FB page last night out of boredom and literally cannot believe the number of complaints on their page. Has to be atleast 90% of the comments on there were complaints about crappy service in all areas. For them to be the 3rd largest carrier and to still be in business is just unbelievable! I tried them out a few years back for a couple days and couldnt even get service at my place. They tried to send me a signal booster and have me pay for it which i refused. Anytime u need another piece of equipment to get service at your home is time to switch carrier.

  • sidekicker89

    Sprint obviously needs something… MONEY to stay alive! :p

  • Best thing that could happen. Sprint will never be able to roll out their LTE Network in my life time. Maybe if a financially stable company comes in and buys Sprint the US will get another Carrier that will be a descent alternative to the others. IMO Sprint is the worst Carrier in the USA. LTE isn’t everything as far as I am concerned, if their 3G ran at a descent speed I would consider them but living in the Boston area where I am in their fastest 3G coverage area you are lucky to see 500 killabits down during the late night when the Network is empty. Great move if it is sold. Just my opinion.

    • noseyray

      They are rolling out their network- friends live next to a tower- alot of work being done, “They asked whats all the work going on for- Guys told them Sprint is upgrading- Guys said they are doing Pa and making there way where-ever Sprint wants them next – also said Pa is being done, as well as other states- they’ve been on the road for months now !

  • sidekicker89

    Metro PCS has “extended home coverage” on their coverage map, is their main roaming partner Sprint?? Comparing their maps it seems like it is… If T-Mobile merges with Metro will that be any value to T-Mobile in the future?


      No. T-Mobile is going to shut off the Metro network anyway. They will not maintain the CDMA network so Sprint would be of no use.

  • BigMixxx

    Sprint Needs cash. BAD. They are too stretched to fund anything and their LTE deployment will slow down significantly. They can’t issue more shares nor borrow.

    AGAIN, how do you gain customers and still lose money….operational costs are killing them.

  • SouthernBlackNerd

    I heard a rumor that the original plan was to buy sprint and tmobile, then combine the two to compete against the big two, but DT backed out last minute and went with reverse merging with metro.

    I have also heard this whole thing is a way for them to get at clearwire, since sprint is majority shareholder, and sprint will not just let clearwire go. Clearwire is using the same spectrum, as SoftBank is to build their td lte network. Overall, it just seems crazy to pay 20 billion for 2/3rds of a company just for one compatible band.

    • UMA_Fan

      Where would you have heard something like that?

  • My fiance has the iPhone 5 and she has realized that the 3G on that is slower than it was on her Evo (never used the 4G). I told her Sprint was slow and im not leaving Tmo anytime soon. :)

    • bleeew

      The iPhone caused their network to collapse.

      • Whitney

        Their network was already on the brink before iphone.

  • umad

    I am ok with Sprint being taken over by Japan’s SoftBank for just 12 billion (many sources say so). T-mo/Metro merger would be approved anyway. It looks like AT&T may feel lonely for being just only American telecommunications company. Sprint would be controlled fully by SoftBank = Japanese. Good news for Sprint consumers! T-Mo = German, Verizon = British (not fully, but still), AT&T = American


  • D Velasquez

    oh yes yes yes yes yes yes!!! so i should be able to use my SoftBank phones at full potential?? good bye HTC and Samsung, Welcome back Fujitsu and Sharp!!!

    • Nokia

      They need to pass FCC’s test, otherwise still nope

    • Whitney

      If works out with Sprint and their LTE is finally launch then I sign up with Sprint

  • bleeew

    So who will make chioces for the network? (Policies, rollout dates, price fix) Will Sprint take care of that or will Softbank, if they get bought out?

  • macman37

    Hopefully, this deal of possibly getting funds from Softbank, thats if they Sprints get acquired, gives Sprint enough funds to finally offer Assurion insurance when they sell the iPhone. This is part of what they had basically agreed not to do when they bet the entire company in becoming an official iPhone seller.

  • macman37

    Hopefully, Sprint will get enough money from this possible deal to finally offer Assurion insurance on the iPhones that they sell. Their agreement with Apple to sell a certain large quantity left them without the option to include it; and an iPhone without insurance from the carrier is what has been holding some possible subscribers, both new and old, from choosing the device.

    • Whitney

      All Apple products are insurance with Apple care not Assurion

      • macman37

        They are covered by AppleCare, AppleCare+, and Assurion. Assurion is what all of the 4 major carriers use, and gives extra protection where AppleCare and/or AppleCare+ does not cover. Sprint couldn’t afford to offer it due to their promise to Apple of selling so many units. Go ahead and check this with any Apple retailer, and they will tell you the same info.

        • UMA_Fan

          I don’t think Asurion covers the iPhone on any carrier. I would think Asurion would pay to cover the iPhone if they wanted to, not the operator. I think Apple has made it so it’s expensive for a third party to cover their device. Also, I don’t think Apple would be ok with Verizon and At&T customers being sold a competitor to their Apple care protection.

        • macman37

          For someone who has the iPhone 4S on Verizon, other subscribers and I, as well as subscribers on other official carriers, are told when buying the device that these are your options: 1) Asurion {which sometimes uses a different name}; 2) AppleCare or AppleCare+; 3) Asurion + AppleCare or AppleCare+. I dare you to go and ask even a kiosk retailer for any of the 3 official carriers as well as Apple; and they will tell you that having both is the best option, since there are some conditions that AppleCare and AppleCare+ offers, 1 example is if the device gets stolen. At this point, until Sprint starts seeing profit on the subsidized iPhones and/or gets some more cash from this deal with SoftBank, they will hardly have enough funds to offer the Asurion insurance. Hopefully, T-Mobile will not be in this position when they become an official iPhone carrier next year.

        • Whitney

          I think you wrong on that. I talk to Sprint rep online about the iphone. They said Asurion does not cover the iphone.

        • macman37

          That is because they do not want to admit to why they’re not offering the insurance; try AT&T or Verizon; why not ask Apple if it’s best to have both coverages or only one.

  • D Velasquez

    you know , now that i think about it this could make more sense if it is KDDI the one trying to get Sprint both are CDMA and KDDI would not have issues turning the band into something else like SoftBank, KDDI and the au by KDDI brand are the 2 telecom on Japan which it would make sense, SoftBank on the other end has been doing good partly because their iPhone exclusive deal which not even the mighty DoCoMo carries so taking a second look at this i wish is KDDI and not SoftBank the one taking over Sprint….oh well i can’t complaint that 104P is going to be mine in the future haha

  • It was said recently that Sprint doesn’t have majority share in Clear anymore.