Softbank looks to invest ¥1trn in Nextel Sprint

The Japanese mobile giant Softbank is in talks to buy a ¥1 trillion (£8bn) stake in Nextel Sprint, the third largest cellphone group in the US.

Shares in Nextel Sprint surged in early New York trade to a 16-month high but analysts expressed surprise at the news. There has been talk of Sprint buying other US mobile companies to help it turn around, but commentators yesterday questioned how an acquisition by a Japanese company would help its competitive position in the US.

Last week Nextel Sprint's board was reported to be considering a bid for MetroPCS Communications, the US's fifth-largest cellphone company, to counter an offer by T-Mobile USA, the country's number four.

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