The Japanese business magazine Nikkei is reporting that Japanese communications giant, SoftBank, in in the final stages of talks with T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, over purchasing the U.S. carrier. The Nikkei cites anonymous sources for its information.
This would mark SoftBank's second major acquisition of an American carrier within two years. Sprint was bought out last year after SoftBank obtained a 70 percent stake in the company for $21.6 billion in a highly publicized business deal. Nikkei is reporting that the Japanese carrier will be using its Sprint branch to make the new deal, which will be estimated at another $20 billion.
The deal would allow SoftBank to overtake Verizon and AT&T, making it the second largest wireless carrier in the world in terms of revenue. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son must now convince the FCC that this will not impede fair competition, and he must also wrangle with other potential buyers looking for a piece of T-Mobile.
"More than the financial and funding aspects, there are likely concerns in the United States about how much Son, head of a foreign company, can really open up mobile infrastructure there, and whether the deal would obstruct healthy competition," claims a banking source in Tokyo.
This latest report would line up with rumors of Sprint seeking to purchase T-Mobile which sprung up last week on CNBC.