SoftBank is done with its bid to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom, it seems. The Japanese company is downsizing its offices in Silicon Valley, according to people in the know talking to Reuters. SoftBank, which now owns Sprint, say they haven’t ruled out a bid to acquire T-Mobile in the future, but that right now they are dropping their bid for the company. The closing of SoftBank’s Silicon Valley offices has not been made public, but sources say the company will be sending most of their West Coast manpower to other locations, including sending development engineers to Sprint’s headquarters in Kansas.
SoftBank’s decision to drop their play for T-Mobile USA is a setback that the company hasn’t faced often. According to Reuters sources, U.S. regulators would not have approved a merger between the nations number 3 and number 4 carriers. The U.S. government is happy with the current situation and the four major wireless carriers that are in operation. They don’t want to change much of anything. SoftBank may rent one of its two buildings in Silicon Valley, as the building has been mostly empty since SoftBank took it over. They certainly won’t be using the space anytime soon.
A spokesman for SoftBank, Matthew Nicholson, simply said that some of the employees of the company were returning to Kansas or Tokyo because their projects were over. He wouldn’t say anything about the company’s failed T-Mobile USA bid. “There were people sent to Silicon Valley for the purpose of making (mobile phone) platforms, but that job was done and there’s nothing else to do,” said one of the sources. SoftBank bought Sprint just last year for $22 billion in a bid to expand outside of Japan in a significant way. They also want T-Mobile USA because the combined power of Sprint and T-Mobile could pose a real threat to Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile is doing a pretty good job of that without the help of Sprint of SoftBank, though.