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CNBC: Japanese carrier SoftBank buys control of Sprint for $20 billion (updated)

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Sprint store (STOCK)
Sprint store (STOCK)

Sprint confirmed on Friday that it was in talks to sell more than two thirds of Sprint Nextel stock to Japan's third-place wireless carrier, SoftBank — and now CNBC reports that a deal has been accepted by the boards of both companies. The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions by SoftBank, and as Nikkei reported earlier, the carrier intends to use the Sprint buyout to expand its global business, and lower its costs for devices and networking equipment. CNBC says SoftBank will buy $8 billion of shares from Sprint and $12 billion worth from shareholders, and that Sprint will receive proceeds from a bond sale to help it complete its acquisition of Clearwire. CNBC says the deal is expected to be announced tomorrow, so stay tuned for official details.

Update: In what's likely to be confirmation of the union, both Sprint and SoftBank are holding press conferences starting at 4AM ET.