Softbank which owns Sprint is close to a $19 billion deal to buy T-Mobile

Sprint Nextel Corp.’s Japanese parent company, SoftBank Corp., is reportedly close to acquiring rival T-Mobile from German communications company Deutsche Telekom in a deal that is expected to be worth more than $19 billion.

SoftBank is speaking to banks about borrowing funds for a deal, according to news reports.

Sprint has been interested in combining with T-Mobile for years and top executives from both companies have said that consolidation is needed in the U.S. wireless market to create a stronger rival against the biggest players, Verizon and AT&T.

A tie-up between Sprint and T-Mobile is expected to draw regulatory scrutiny, experts have said.

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