Japan cell service provider SoftBank has apparently been negotiating to buy Sprint in a deal that's worth about US$19.2 billion. The deal would give SoftBank more than two thirds of U.S. carrier Sprint.
SoftBank is looking to expand its global business presence, according to Bloomberg, and has already taken steps towards that with the purchase of E-Mobile a couple weeks ago and Willcom earlier this year.
The deal that's in the works gives SoftBank the ability to more easily move into the U.S. market since Sprint's equipment is compatible with its wireless networks.
Assuming the two companies strike a deal and aren't shot down by regulatory agencies, Sprint could see a boost in its business thanks to SoftBank's backing.
Sprint is the third largest carrier in the U.S. and has been struggling to keep up with AT&T and Verizon. SoftBank has a longer track record with Apple's iPhone, too, so the Japanese company could help Sprint manage its $20 billion multi-year deal with Apple -- and a deal with Sprint is most likely the only way SoftBank can get into the U.S. market.
Neither company is talking about the deal, although SoftBank representatives confirmed that they weren't the source of the news.