Although plans for Softbank’s Masayoshi Son fell through with the DT/T-Mobile deal, that doesn’t mean Softbank doesn’t have something else up their sleeve and in the works. Latest rumors are suggesting that Masayoshi Son and Softbank are potentially considering a deal with Vodafone. There are many factors to consider, not the least of which is that Vodafone and Softbank have had business dealings in the past and the two corporations have a history, stemmed from when Softbank purchased Vodafone’s Japanese enterprise back in 2006. These aren’t the first of these rumors to hit the public as word of possible dealings has been around since 2013.
As Softbank looks to improve their network, as well as grow and expand, the suggestion that they could be looking to deal with Vodafone for their European operations would be a way to do so. Softbank’s aspirations of becoming a massive global conglomerate could only be met by taking on something really big as pointed out by an unnamed analyst who spoke to the WSJ, and they further stated that Vodafone would fit nicely into that category. Softbank may also have eyes for the 2600 MHz spectrum that Vodafone has in its possession, especially since Softbank has a keen interest in applying that same band to 4G networks across its operations in Japan and the U.S.
As merging companies and assets in the European markets would benefit Softbank, they would also seemingly serve to benefit Vodafone as reports are stating the wireless industry in Europe has reached a point of major carrier players dashing to consolidate their holdings and assets, in an attempt to somewhat cure their businesses from the effects of lower profits. Europe’s networks aren’t as modern as they could be, and there is more than enough competition to go around to keep prices shooting downward. These are just a few reasons why it in theory would be a good idea for Vodafone to look into dealing with Softbank as it could help boost back their own profits. Although it would seem to make sense for something this to be in the works for both companies, according to WSJ, Softbank wouldn’t be able to complete a deal of this magnitude unless they were to get rid of their stake in Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce website, of which Softbank owns a third of the stake in. However, Son has been recorded stating that he had no plans to dump his stake in the company.