Softbank makes bold move into U.S.

Oct 12, 2012, 12:22 AM EDT
A man using a mobile phone walks past an advertisement board of Softbank Corp in Tokyo in this February 5, 2009 file photo. Japan's Softbank Corp is in talks to acquire a majority stake in Sprint Nextel, the No. 3 wireless carrier in the United States, for more than 1 trillion yen it was reported October 11, 2012.
REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files

Japan's third-largest mobile carrier is looking to buy about 70% of Sprint Nextel in an aggressive move that would make it a force in the U.S. mobile market. A deal would help Sprint fund costly upgrades to its network and compete against larger rivals as a bidding war in the U.S. mobile sector opens up. Japan's Nikkei business newspaper said Softbank was also considering a bid for a second U.S. carrier, MetroPCS Communications, on the heels of its Sprint bid. Sprint's shares rose 14% in New York trading.

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