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SoftBank's US wireless ambitions still up in the air

Complex web of merger, tie-up talks fails to narrow down options

TOKYO -- SoftBank Group's search for a partner for U.S. wireless unit Sprint has borne little fruit so far, with candidates inside and outside the industry proving unreceptive to the Japanese technology giant's overtures.

SoftBank's top target is fellow wireless carrier T-Mobile US, which SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son has called the best potential merger partner. Son tried to engineer a merger between the two back in 2013, after SoftBank's $21.6 billion acquisition of Sprint, and has recently resumed his pursuit.

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