Rumors by Andrew Kameka on Thursday October 11, 2012.
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Sprint recently considered acquiring prepaid carrier MetroPCS, but rumors now suggest that Sprint is in talks to sell the to another carrier. Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and Nikkei have separately reported that Sprint is in advanced talks to sell the company to Japanese carrier SoftBank. Though the publications disagree on the asking price - Reuters and The Journal say it's more than 1 trillion yen (US $12.81 billion), but Nikkei says it's 1.5 trillion yen (US $19.2 billion) - all three publications say sources confirm that a deal is on the table.
SoftBank would be taking a major risk acquiring Sprint, which has languished in third place in the U.S. carrier market for several years. Sprint has managed to grow subscribers, but it will have to invest billions to increase its spectrum and build an LTE network capable of handling more customers. SoftBank is said to consider the deal because Sprint, worth $15.12 billion based on its current stock price, might make it cheaper for SoftBank to acquire mobile devices. Companies save money by acquiring larger volumes of products, so the suggestion is that having another division in a competitive market might aid SoftBank's efforts to secure more devices and generate more revenue.
It's also possible that SoftBank seeks to purchase a controlling interest in Sprint. Neither Sprint nor SoftBank has commented on reports that the two companies are engaged in acquisition talks.