Masayoshi giveth, and Masayoshi taketh away: Softbank kills T-Mobile-Sprint merger

Softbank is putting the kibosh on the merger between mobile carriers Sprint and T-mobile, a deal analysts have deemed “all but inevitable” for months.

October 31, 2017

Softbank founder Masayoshi Son is putting the kibosh on the proposed merger between mobile carriers Sprint and T-mobile, a deal analysts have deemed “all but inevitable” for months.

With their powers combined, C-listers Sprint and T-mobile were poised to compete with cell phone celebs Verizon and AT&T — and US regulators seemed to be the only thing standing in their way. Or at least, that’s what’s foiled their previous merger attempts.

But no one counted on the maverick that is Masayoshi

According to an article in Japanese news site Nikkei, “SoftBank Group plans to break off negotiations on a merger between subsidiary Sprint and T-Mobile US amid a failure to agree on ownership of the combined entity.”

In other words, when it comes to negotiations, it’s Son’s way, or the highway — and Sprint and T-mobile are left doing damage control (Sprint’s stock dipped 15% following the news that their parent company Softbank had backed out of the deal).

Looks like we won’t be seeing a SprinTmobile any time soon…

Or will we?

Axios speculates that this abrupt about-face could be a negotiation tactic by Son, to light a fire under T-mobile owner Deutsche Telekom’s buns.

Or maybe, in comparison to his multi-billion dollar investments in things like self-driving robots and vertical farming, resuscitating a third-rate cell phone provider doesn’t exactly scream, “fun” to Son.

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