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Softbank to Host D.C. Wireless Event Amid T-Mobile Talk

SoftBank Corp. Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son will host a presentation March 11 in Washington to discuss “the state of America’s wireless communications industry and the competitive global landscape,” according to an e-mail invitation yesterday.

Son is said to be considering whether to bid for mobile-phone carrier T-Mobile US Inc. after acquiring control of Sprint Corp. last year. By getting bigger in the U.S. market, Sprint could offer “aggressive discounts and services,” Son said last month. “Without industry consolidation, for Sprint alone to become No. 1 in the U.S. is literally just a dream,” he said.

Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse met with regulators in Washington to discuss the idea of acquiring T-Mobile and were told there was skepticism such a deal would help competition, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

Shares of Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, climbed 3.2 percent to $9.11 at 10:31 a.m. in New York. T-Mobile, based in Bellevue, Washington, rose 3.5 percent to $31.57.

Deutsche Telekom, the Bonn-based carrier that controls T-Mobile, added 2.1 percent to 12.21 euros in Frankfurt. SoftBank climbed 0.7 percent to 7,474 yen in Tokyo.

SoftBank’s invitation to the presentation didn’t mention Sprint or T-Mobile. Son’s presentation on “the promise of mobile Internet in driving American innovation, the economy and education” will focus on “the crucial role of ultra fast wireless broadband communications in driving innovation, commerce and education -- in the U.S. and around the globe,” according to the invitation.

SoftBank’s Transformation

Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL Inc., and John Roos, former U.S. ambassador to Japan, will introduce Son’s presentation.

Son has transformed SoftBank, founded in Tokyo in 1981 as a wholesaler of packaged computer software, into a full-fledged telecommunication operator via acquisitions, including that of the Japanese unit of Vodafone Group Plc. Son has invested in more than 1,000 companies.

The 56-year-old founder has said he’s seeking overseas opportunities because there isn’t enough potential for significant growth in Japan after narrowing the gap with bigger NTT Docomo Inc. and KDDI Corp. in wireless subscribers.

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