SoftBank is assessing its options for Sprint ahead of anticipated deregulation from the Trump administration, which could lead to the resurrection of SoftBank’s bid to buy or merge with T-Mobile.
Speaking on the company’s Q3 results call, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son confirmed he discussed the regulatory landscape and SoftBank’s future investment in the US during a meeting with Trump in December 2016. At the time, Son committed to invest $50 billion in the US and create 50,000 jobs.
However, Sprint was not explicitly mentioned in the commitment. In the earnings call, Son welcomed talk of deregulation in the US market, hinting such moves could clear the way for fresh discussions on the future of Sprint, but stopping short of making any firm commitments.
He said: “When it comes to the merger with T-Mobile we were [previously discussed as] the buyers but now we may buy, we may sell, [we may look at] a simple merger. It could be a deal with T-Mobile or it might be a completely different company.”
“We are open to any options and will look into them going forward.”
Son also praised the performance of its Sprint brand, hailing it as a “driving force” in the US market which could continue as a stand-alone business.
The company scrapped a bid to acquire T-Mobile in 2014 following opposition from regulators, but earlier this year financial press reports emerged suggesting the Japanese company could look to revive the deal.