Will SoftBank turn its attention to Vodafone after being put off T-Mobile?


Will they, won’t they? A month back it seemed like SoftBank’s CEO, Masayoshi Son had just one thing on his mind: Buying T-Mobile and merging it with his other property, Sprint. To most of Team Magenta, it sounded like a bad idea right from the off. Just when Tmo seemed to be doing really well, here comes news that it might get swallowed up by a bigger company from another land.

For some, there was a positive slant: If T-Mobile could keep its identity, its plans and its Uncarrier philosophy, it wouldn’t be a bad thing. It would suddenly have more spectrum within its grasp and be able to roll out an even better and larger LTE network.

And although the deal is by no means confirmed as dead or alive, Son has spoken to just about every governing body going to try and harness some kind of support for his plans. Both the FCC and DoJ reportedly weren’t keen on 4 carriers becoming 3, and others weren’t convinced it was a great idea either. So the question now is: Will SoftBank’s chief continue with his plan, and risk paying a heavy financial price for a failed attempt at a buyout, or turn his attention elsewhere?

Reports over the past few days indicate that SoftBank could, instead, be turning its attention on Vodafone. As a result of these rumors, U.S. shares of Vodafone rose %1, while Softbank’s took a 4.5% drop on Tokyo’s stock exchange yesterday.┬áThe UK-based carrier has recently agreed to sell its 45% stake in Verizon back to VZW, and wants to focus on more on its European ventures. Having recently bought Germany’s biggest cable TV firm, and announcing that it will acquire Spain’s, it’s clear that Vodafone wants to offer broad mobile and fixed line services across the continent.

Of course, SoftBank isn’t the first network operator to show interest in Voda. AT&T was rumored for a long time to be interested in the UK’s #2 carrier. Rumors which it has recently attempted to cool.

Personally, like many of you, I’ll be delighted if SoftBank makes an official bid for Vodafone. It would presumably signal its interest in T-Mobile has died, and the Uncarrier can continue being the Uncarrier.

Source: Investors.com


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  • Nearmsp

    SoftBank, owner of Sprint if it tries to swallow Vodaphone, it will become the python that got it guts thrown out eating a crocodile.

    • Nick Gonzalez


  • Paul

    IF these rumore prove to be true, then it will only prove that Son is trying to save a sinking ship of an investment. This is the very reason I am against his attempts to merge with Magenta.

  • S. Ali

    Not happening. They could barely find funding to get T-Mobile, Vodaphone would cost many times that amount.

    • Adrayven

      Agreed.. They simply don’t have the funding… they are leveraged to the hilt right now.. I simply don’t see why Son keeps looking outside.. when the issues Sprint has are INSIDE.. It’s efficiencies with expansion, using existing spectrum effectively and efficiently.. it’s one of the least efficient of all 4..

      T-Mobile has it’s act together when it comes to it’s network.. when it says ‘go’ it hauls butt and gets it done. Verizon, for as large as they are, is not bad either.. ATT is meh and I’d call maybe 3rd in effectiveness when it comes to rollouts..

      Sprint.. it’s the lame dog that just doesn’t want to move.. lol

      Sprint needs a top on down house cleaning of management.. really. Just doing as they’ve always done is not going to win people back..

  • Alex Zapata

    I think SoftBank has a case of its eyes being bigger than its wallet.

  • JBLmobileG1

    Would be nice if they did bid on them, just to be reassured that Tmobile will be safe from them, atleast for now. If that fails, I wouldn’t be surprised if Softbank wouldn’t try to buy out Dish either, considering they wanted to be apart of the cellular business.

  • Adam

    “Just when Tmo seemed to be doing really well, hear comes news that it might get swallowed up by a bigger company from another land.”
    Shouldn’t this be “here?”

  • Eric

    Cam, change the word to “here” in this sentence: “Just when Tmo seemed to be doing really well, hear comes news that it might get swallowed up by a bigger company from another land.”

    • Chad Dalton

      oh c’cmon…give hem a brake, realee? Over won word?

      • Stone Cold

        I see what you did their hee hee.

  • sushimane

    Vodafone are they talking about the whole entity or what? If they talking about the entity their crazy.

    • FluX

      You know Son was crazy enough to try to buy T-Mobile :P. He probably wants the whole entity.

      • sushimane

        lol true he would bring softbank and sprint to their knees if he did that. he would need more then 45 billion to buy vodafone

    • enkay1

      Hey AT&T was going to try and go for them. Why can’t SoftBank?

      • sushimane

        att got the money to do so if they want but softbank dont got the money to do so they had to go to 7 banks to get 45 billion dollars to try to buy tmobile.

  • enkay1

    This is funny because SoftBank itself used to be a Vodafone subsidiary as Vodafone Japan K.K.

    • OneRcknMan

      Actually Softbank bought Vodafone Japan and renamed it to Softbank.

  • MyRemarq

    Son got money but no brian.
    01. Not to buy first T-Mobile when was so much cheaper price.
    02. Sprint name still stay sprint as is.
    03. Even he know gsm network better but don’t to want to change it because co$t money.
    04. Sprint on race car.
    05. Before fixing own worst network in US, he want a buy t-mobile as well or other.
    06.He want to play same monopoly rules in US just like does it JAPAN.
    07. Son find out that t-mobile by pass sprint and head to head with at&t.
    _can son cry?_
    Sorry for if any english errors.

  • Tweakeraz

    Didn’t ATT pass on Vodafone thus preventing them from acquiring for a specified term? Hasn’t Vodafone wanted more control over VZ in the past than VZ would give them. Won’t Vodafone be holding a lot of cash soon post VZ buyout? Son isn’t going to get TMO, but how about Vodafone with a bigger share that DT currently has? DT could then have a deciding stake in a company that is going somewhere with huge potential.

    • Tweakeraz

      Edit: Vodafone, not DT, could then have a deciding stake in a company that is going somewhere with huge potential.

  • With Softbank finally seeming to give up on Tmo,maybe Tmo and Dish can look into merging again.

  • Thor God Of Thunder

    Perhaps Germany should take over their own company in America. After WW2 the western world said exclude the Russians and keep Germany down. What does it matter, the world is a collapsing house of cards.