Japan's SoftBank has reportedly reached a broad accord to merge its U.S. subsidiary Sprint with T-Mobile to create a rival to America's top two wireless carriers.
SoftBank and German group Deutsche Telekom, which holds 64% of T-Mobile, are considering a stock swap for the deal, which could be announced as early as this month, the Nikkei daily newspaper reported on Saturday.
The Japanese telecom giant is also planning to begin procedures for the approval of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, the report added.
Confirmation of the news report was not available.
T-Mobile ranks third among U.S. wireless carriers by subscribers, followed by Sprint in fourth place. Together, the pair would have 131 million subscribers, which would see them virtually match second-ranked AT&T and pose stiff competition to market leader Verizon Communications.
SoftBank has long sought to combine the two firms but appeared to abandon the plan due to likely opposition from U.S. regulators.