Whilst it’s certainly Nexus season it’s starting to look like it might be acquisition season as well. With Deutsche Telekom having engineered a “reverse merger” of MetroPCS and T-Mobile to form a new company and a speedy escape from the US market as well Sprint expressing interest in MetroPCS. It looks like the industry has dollar-signs for eyes right now. What’s next? Google buys a network? If only, right?
The latest in this fever comes out of Japan, with the third largest carrier, Softbank looking to acquire Sprint – the US’s third largest carrier – for around $12 Billion dollars, Nikkei, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal are reporting. It’s said that the company is in “advanced talks” with the company and Sprint themselves have just released a Press Release detailing the same. Sprint have clarified that they are in talks with Softbank regarding a “substantial investment” and that it could “involve a change of control for Sprint”. Only a week ago, Softbank gobbled up rival eAccess in a billion dollar deal that will add 50 per cent more stations to its LTE network and bump the carrier to second when completed. How a substantial investment in Sprint would help either one of their LTE networks – never mind Sprint terrible 3G speeds – is unknown however, some Japanese media are calling this a good chance to get American phones into Japanese stores.
The majority steak in Sprint is said to be around $12.8 Billion and whilst this is only just getting off the ground it’s exciting to see mobile networks becoming truly global. Whilst the Germans from Deutsche Telekom want out of the US Market it looks like the Japanese from Softbank want very much in.