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SoftBank rethinks US mobile plans with merger out of picture

Japanese giant must plot new course for Sprint amid industry realignment

SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son

TOKYO -- SoftBank Group has given up on a long-sought merger between American wireless unit Sprint and peer T-Mobile US, forcing it to consider other options and possibly even partners from other industries to achieve the scale needed to challenge dominant rivals.

Many directors insisted at a board meeting Friday that any merger deal give the Japanese technology behemoth control of the combined entity. Reports had already emerged of T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom also digging in on this point. With SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son showing no intention of handing over the reins, it was all but decided to call the negotiations off.

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