Sprint's owner increases its stake after failed T-Mobile merger

SoftBank wants to be sure its US carrier has a future.

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Jon Fingas
November 6th, 2017
In this article: carrier, gear, mobile, softbank, sprint, wireless
Reuters/Andrew Kelly
Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Now that Sprint's would-be merger with T-Mobile has been called off, how is it going to fend for itself? By getting a little help from its parent company. SoftBank has revealed plans to increase ts stake in Sprint, whether through stock deals or other means. It's not saying when it will up the stake or by how much, but it doesn't expect to boost its stock share to 85 percent or more. The Japanese tech company isn't shy about why it's making the move, at least: it's about giving Sprint a long-term future.

Sprint is a "critical part" of SoftBank's plan for the US, SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son said. His company wants to be ready for a world where connected devices are everywhere, and owning a "world class" wireless network is key to making that happen.

The increased stake answers a lingering question: if Sprint couldn't count on the T-Mobile merger, was SoftBank willing to go the extra mile and make sure its American network was in good financial shape? Clearly, the answer is yes. In theory, this gives Sprint more breathing room as it gets its house in order and improves its network to compete with fast-moving rivals.

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