SoftBank to Acquire 70% of Sprint Nextel for Big Bucks

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Could a new acquisition mean a major shift for the U.S. mobile market? On Monday, Japanese-based telecommunications provider SoftBank announced it would buy a majority stake (70%) in Sprint Nextel, the U.S.’s third largest cellular provider.

The acquisition price is $20.1 billion and will need to be approved by U.S. regulators before being finalized, something that could happen next year.

“This is a transformative transaction for Sprint that creates immediate value for our stockholders, while providing an opportunity to participate in the future growth of a stronger, better capitalized Sprint going forward,” commented Sprint CEO Dan Hesse in a press release. Hesse also noted SoftBank’s deployment of an LTE network in Japan, a matter Sprint expects to learn from.

Money used for the purchase will be separated among Sprint shareholders (12.1 billion) while the rest will go towards to other Sprint investments.

Sprint has notably struggled in the cellular market, lagging behind competitors AT&T and Verizon. A report from the New York Times, meanwhile, called it the company’s “boldest move yet to revive its fortunes.”

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