Earlier this month, SoftBank's CEO and Sprint chairman, Masayoshi Son met with President-Elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City. Son announced that his company would be investing $50 billion in the US, as well as bringing in about 50,000 jobs. This is something that the President-Elect has been bragging about making happen, but SoftBank actually announced this plan back in October, the election was in November, so this had nothing to do with Trump. In October, SoftBank announced the Vision Fund, which is a $100 billion joint fund between Saudi Arabia and SoftBank, which would be used to invest in emerging technologies. Saudi Arabia would be investing $45 billion, and SoftBank investing $25 billion, over the next five years. Which is where the investing $50 billion in the US came from, for SoftBank and Masayoshi Son.
It was December 2013 when rumors started swirling around Sprint buying T-Mobile, with SoftBank behind it. After finding out from regulators that the deal would have no chance, SoftBank abandoned whatever talks they were having with T-Mobile and its parent company Deutsche Telekom. And had then-CEO, Dan Hesse step down and Son put Marcelo Claure in charge of Sprint. Son is still eyeing a merger with T-Mobile, however now it may be even tougher, even with a new administration that is more about deregulating things, especially when it comes to the FCC. And this is because T-Mobile USA is much more valuable than it was almost three years ago. Additionally, Deutsche Telekom isn't in a huge rush to exit the US, as they were a few short years ago.
SoftBank seems happy to let Trump take credit for them investing $50 billion in the US and creating loads of jobs (Sprint is also creating loads of jobs without SoftBank's help). It appears to be a pretty small price to pay for Trump allowing them to buy T-Mobile. Although that deal is not set in stone, and Trump hasn't said that he would let the deal happen. However, he has been against AT&T purchasing Time Warner, so who knows where he might stand on a T-Mobile/Sprint merger. We should be learning more over the coming months though, as Trump is set to move into the White House on January 20th.