After Snapping Up Sprint, SoftBank Sets Sights on T-Mobile
In a move that would bring it closer to becoming the world's largest mobile carrier, Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank is in talks to acquire T-Mobile US, according to reports.
But as SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son attempts to build his online infrastructure empire, he'll likely have to overcome serious concerns about healthy competition from U.S. antitrust regulators.
If SoftBank does acquire T-Mobile - a deal that could reportedly be valued at about $20 billion - it would rocket past Verizon and AT&T to become the world's second-biggest mobile carrier by revenue. SoftBank purchased Sprint earlier this year for $21.6 billion.
SoftBank's ability to pull off the T-Mobile purchase, however, is anything but certain. The Federal Communications Commission denied an attempt from AT&T to acquire T-Mobile in 2011, citing concerns over competition. Plus, Dish Network is also reportedly considering a bid for the mobile carrier.
SoftBank and Dish both vied for Sprint over the summer with Dish dropping out only after it forced SoftBank to up the ante.
If the deal is successful, sources tell Reuters that SoftBank will have its Sprint unit take a majority stake in T-Mobile from parent company Deutsche Telekom AG.
Benjamin Kabin is a Brooklyn-based technology journalist who specializes in security, startups, venture capital and social media.