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SoftBank Falls on Report Sprint Is Considering T-Mobile Bid

SoftBank Store
Pedestrians walk past a SoftBank Corp. store in Tokyo Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

SoftBank Corp., which acquired Sprint Corp. this year, fell after a report the U.S. carrier is considering a bid for T-Mobile US Inc.

The shares dropped 3.2 percent to 8,620 yen at the close of trade in Tokyo. Sprint, the third-largest U.S. carrier, is studying antitrust concerns and could push ahead with a T-Mobile bid in the first half of next year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

SoftBank, which paid $21.6 billion for control of Sprint in July, is seeking deals abroad amid a declining population at home. The company added agreements for majority stakes in gamemaker Supercell Oy and U.S. mobile-phone distributor Brightstar Corp. in October as billionaire founder Masayoshi Son seeks to build content to lure subscribers.

SoftBank plans to spend $16 billion at Sprint during the next two years for faster U.S. services as it tries to catch AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless. SoftBank owns stakes in more than 1,000 Internet businesses, and Son is Japan’s second-richest man with a net worth of $16.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Mitsuhiro Kurano, a Tokyo-based spokesman for SoftBank, declined to comment on the Wall Street Journal report.

Deutsche Telekom AG, which this year merged its T-Mobile USA unit with MetroPCS Communications Inc., rose 4 percent to 11.81 euros at 12:05 p.m. in Frankfurt.

Philipp Schindera, a spokesman at Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom, declined to comment on any potential offer for T-Mobile US.

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