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SoftBank scores a win as US clears Sprint merger with T-Mobile

Son sheds risk from money-losing carrier to plow cash into AI

TOKYO/NEW YORK -- The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday said it will approve the $26 billion merger of SoftBank Group-owned Sprint and T-Mobile US, setting the Japanese-owned carrier on the road to recovery and offering SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son leeway to take on risky but potentially rewarding investments in cutting-edge tech.

The Justice Department and attorneys general of five states reached a settlement with T-Mobile and Sprint regarding the proposed merger, with the two carriers agreeing to the divestiture of Sprint prepaid businesses including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint Prepaid to satellite television provider Dish Network, as a condition for regulatory approval.

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