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July 15, 2017

Sprint head Masayoshi Son said to have talked to Warren Buffet and John Malone about potential deals

by John_A

Possible Berkshire Hathaway deal worth $10 billion according to insiders.

Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son held separate talks with Warren Buffet and Liberty Broadband chair John Malone at a recent CEO conference in Idaho, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Son has been very proactive about exploring the options for Sprint, and we’ve seen talks of a renewed interest in a merger with T-Mobile as well as “official” talks with Charter Communications and Comcast since May 2017 that would have Charter and Comcast reselling wireless service in return for a sizeable investment.

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The U.S. telecom market is a mess of half-deals and promises.

Liberty Broadband, one of Charter’s largest investors, chairman John Malone was said to have talked with Son about a deal that would “bolster Charter’s efforts to add wireless service to its cable TV and internet businesses” according to people familiar with the situation.

Comcast struck a deal with Verizon last April that sees them reselling wireless service, and a separate deal between Comcast and Charter means either company would need the blessing of the other before further moves to sell phone service were finalized, but a direct deal with Liberty Broadband would be exempt.

Buffet, who is also a Charter investor with 3.5% of all Class A shares and whose Berkshire Hathaway holds over $90 billion in cash, is said to be actively looking for an opportunity and Son sat down and talked about a deal that could be worth over as $10 billion according to people in the know.

As these were said to be informal talks and not any official negotiations, neither of these may materialize. But as the WSJ points out, this will likely put even more strain on any further talks with T-Mobile, which have already been put on hold while Sprint and Charter negotiate.

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