So today’s news is that Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) says it is in talks with Softbank for a ‘substantial investment’, which could be as much as 75%. Yes, Japan’s third largest wireless carrier likes that status so much that it would like to be the third largest in the US as well.
Most recently, Sprint was said to be considering a counter-offer for MetroPCS in the wake of T-Mobile’s bold move. I think this could be a related response, with Softbank sensing an opportunity as Sprint’s options get fewer.
Softbank has the resources to change the game for Sprint here, and might be interested in the Clearwire piece as well — all that spectrum and everything.
The entry into the US market by a Japanese carrier would shift the balance of power, but nobody’s quite sure where it would shift to. What would the response of Verizon and AT&T be? Well, we’ll worry about that if Softbank’s talk turns into something more concrete.
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