According to those in the know, the plan is for Sprint to make a cash bid for the 67% of T-Mobile owned by Deutsche Telekom. Sprint and T-Mobile would then combine. Deutsche Telekom would be more than happy to rid itself of T-Mobile despite the carrier's recent innovations that helped it gain 1 million in new subscribers last quarter. Still, Son has yet to sit down with the German mobile operator to discuss a deal.
Insiders say that the SoftBank CEO is concerned about having to pay a break-up free. This is part of every deal and when the AT&T-T-Mobile deal fell apart because of regulators' failure to approve it, AT&T was forced to give its target $7 billion in case and assets. Son says that a large break-up fee is impossible here because of the debt that SoftBank is already carrying.
Sprint isn't the only company interested in T-Mobile. Just a couple of days ago, we reported on a rumor that has DISH Network interested in T-Mobile. This could lead to a rematch between SoftBank and Sprint. This past summer, Son's company beat out DISH Chairman Charles Ergen to buy 78% of Sprint. DISH had offered more money for all of Sprint, but that bid was not financed while SoftBank already had the money to close its deal.