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SoftBank nearing deal for Sprint, T-Mobile merger

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has been lobbying Washington to get a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint approved.

TOKYO -- SoftBank has reached a basic agreement to acquire T-Mobile US from German parent Deutsche Telecom, paving the way for a merger between the fourth-ranked U.S. mobile carrier and rival Sprint.

     The two sides are still ironing out the details, and the deal needs clearance from U.S. regulators. Together, third-ranked Sprint, acquired by SoftBank last year, and T-Mobile have some 100 million U.S. subscribers, putting their combined customer base on par with those of Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

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