SoftBank to benefit from Trump deregulation, says CEO

James Pearce
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Masayoshi Son claims President Trump has promised to roll back regulation, and refused to rule out a bid to merge T-Mobile with Sprint

SoftBank Group is set to benefit from President Donald Trump’s planned deregulation of the American economy, according to CEO Masayoshi Son.

The Japanese technology giant, which owns US operator Sprint, has already announced plans to invest up to $50 billion in the US after Son met Trump prior to his inauguration.

In December, following the announcement of SoftBank’s investment plans, Trump tweeted: “Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!”

Speaking at a briefing following SoftBank’s latest earnings, Son said: “President Trump has promised to ease various regulations and that should make it easier to do business,” according to Reuters.

Son also said he was keeping his options open about US mobile arm Sprint. SoftBank had been rumoured to be assessing a bit buy Deutsche Telekom’s US operation, T-Mobile, in a deal that never materialised.

Asked if this merger could be rekindled given the changes at regulator the Federal Communications Commission and in the White House, Son said: “Three years ago, I was so eager to buy T-Mobile. But now, I have many options. Sprint can be profitable on its own. Keeping Sprint separate is also an option.”

He was speaking as Sprint trimmed losses in the final three months of 2016 to $479 million. Overall revenue at the US mobile operator grew 5% year-on-year to $8.5 billion for the third quarter of its fiscal year.