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Japanese carrier Softbank in talks to scoop up Sprint Nextel

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Reuters

(Read caption) The logo of Softbank is seen at a branch in Tokyo. Japan's Softbank said this week that it is in talks with Sprint Nextel .

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As of late this summer, the carrier market in the US broke down like this: Verizon and AT&T jostling for first place, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile in a distant third and fourth, and a cluster of smaller companies jostling for the scraps. So how does a carrier like Sprint Nextel make a play for a bigger market share?

With a stack of cash, naturally. 

According to Bloomberg, Japanese wireless service provider Softbank is in the process of arranging $23 billion in financing for a deal with Sprint, in which Softbank would get a 70 percent stake in the American carrier. Unsurprisingly, Sprint shares shot up yesterday after news of the talks were confirmed by both Softbank and Sprint. (Sprint shares have slipped slightly since then.) 

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