Sprint parent company Softbank is reportedly chatting up Charter Communications about a possible merger, amid indications that Sprint's merger deal with T-Mobile US has tanked. This comes after Softbank reportedly torpedoed merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile due to disagreements over how the combined company would be run. At this point, talk of a merger is between Softbank and Charter, rather than having direct involvement with Sprint. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son personally approached Charter about a merger, and talks at this point are reported to be strictly exploratory and preliminary in nature, but include a number of higher-ups from both companies.
Sprint's previously explored deal with T-Mobile would most likely be completely off the table, should talks between Charter and Softbank take off. It's unclear exactly what measure of control Charter would be able to exercise over Sprint, or over Softbank's other ventures and holdings. One thing that would be fairly likely in the event of such a deal is Sprint using Charter's wealth of spectrum to fill gaps in its own wireless coverage, and there would probably be some sort of partnership on Wi-Fi, as well. Charter is the second largest cable company in the United States and has numerous Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country that its customers can use for free. Naturally, the increased spectrum holdings and nationwide Wi-Fi would make 5G deployment and IoT management a bit easier for Sprint, though there would be some growing pains as the integration began.
Softbank is one of Japan's premier telecom companies and has also ventured into robotics and other fields in the tech world. Its wide portfolio and clout have made it a good fit to own and operate Sprint from above thus far, though that was not always the case; at one point, Masayoshi Son was very open about the fact that the company was losing money thanks to Sprint. The previously proposed merger with T-Mobile was supposed to help both carriers fill gaps in coverage and increase their speed and capacity, along with allowing spectrum interlock to make 5G deployment across diversified solutions easier across the entire US market. News of the merger falling through due to a breakdown in power management is not entirely shocking, given the massive dose of personality that CEO John Legere has injected into T-Mobile over his five year tenure; to lose any control over the company's management or image would almost certainly break any talk of a merger, though it's still unclear exactly how things unfolded to lead to where we are today.