SoftBank has a pretty large bid in place to purchase Sprint, but according to a report from Reuters, it has a backup plan should the proposed purchase fall through. According to three unnamed sources, SoftBank is already in talks with Deutsche Telekom to purchase its T-Mobile US division if the Sprint deal isn't able to close.
The companies have been in discussions since last year, but those talks allegedly gained momentum when Dish Networks put in a higher bid for Sprint after SoftBank published its offer. Deutsche Telekom has been trying to sell its T-Mobile US company for quite some time — it was nearly purchased by AT&T back in 2011 before the FCC and other regulators blocked that deal from happening.
Separately, Sprint announced on Friday that former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the Bush and Obama administrations, Mike Mullen, would join its board of directors when the deal with SoftBank closes. A former Admiral in the Navy, Mullen will serve as Sprint's Security Director after the SoftBank buyout. There has been plenty of speculation and concern — which Dish has tried to take advantage of — surrounding SoftBank's interest in Sprint and the national security issues that may arise from it. Sprint's move to hire one of the highest ranking military officials in the country is almost certainly an effort to quell those fears and put those concerns to rest.