Softbank falls into the arms of another after DT issues

After reports of a breakdown in talks between Softbank and Deutsche Telekom over the Sprint/T-Mobile US merger, it didn’t take long for the Japanese telco to find someone else to party with.

When we first heard about the breakup rumours we speculated one would be out partying and one would be crying into ice cream in typical Bridget Jones style. According to the New York Post, DT is binging on Ben and Jerry’s while Softbank in flirting with Charter.

Sources have said the Japanese telco is ‘definitely’ in talks with Charter Communications for a new tie up. This would appear to be a rekindling with an old flame, as the rumour mill has already circulated such rumours in recent months. That said, it wouldn’t surprise many people as something certainly needs to change at Sprint.

Having surrendered its number three position in the US telco space to T-Mobile US, Sprint has continued its downward spiral. It is a telco which has never really been in a position to challenge Verizon and AT&T at the top of the table, and in recent months it really look capable of tackling John Legere and his T-Mobile cronies either. As mentioned before, something needs to change and a tie-up with Charter would certainly shake things up a bit.

The rumours certainly shine a light on Charter’s promiscuous side, though to date there has been little more than whispers about any consolidation. Sources have previously claimed Charter was given the option to acquire Sprint, a claim which is denied by Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, and on the flipside, Verizon bid $350 to $400 a share for Charter.

While these are nothing more than rumours at the moment, the murmurs might help get the DT talks back on track. DT is certainly in the position of power in the negotiations with Softbank, Sprint needs change more than T-Mobile US does, however this might give the Germans a bit of a reality check.

Perhaps the fear of missing out on such a deal will soften the demands of DT who are after a controlling share in any merged Sprint/T-Mobile entity. Softbank found issue with these demands, which is apparently the reason for the breakdown.

Now we are not suggesting the rumours originated in any particular office, and we certainly wouldn’t suggest they come from offices in Tokyo, but such whispers might have a way of working out for Softbank in the strategic acquisition game.

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