SoftBank gains $12bn as Sprint's stock soar
Nikkei -- Feb 12
A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of the $26 billion merger between wireless carriers T-Mobile and SoftBank Group-owned Sprint, giving the Japanese conglomerate a much-needed boost after a series of investment flops.

The court decision, which came about six months after the acquisition was approved by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, rejected a collective antitrust lawsuit by 13 states including New York and California, as well as the District of Columbia, which demanded an injunction on the transaction.

Sprint surged over 70% in morning trading Tuesday, boosting the value of SoftBank's 84% stake by $12 billion.

The legal win marks a likely end to years of uncertainty on Sprint for SoftBank, which had seen a merger with larger competitor T-Mobile as its plan "from day one" when it acquired the U.S. carrier in 2013.

Many analysts had warned that if the merger could not go ahead, Sprint may not survive in the competitive, capital-intensive wireless services market -- a view cited by Judge Victor Marrero as part of his decision in favor of the acquisition.

"The overwhelming view both within Sprint and in the wider industry is that Sprint is falling farther and farther short of the targets it must hit to remain relevant as a significant competitor," the judge wrote.

The transaction, if finalized, will also give SoftBank some relief from its capital troubles as the Japanese conglomerate struggles to fundraise for its venture capital vehicle Vision Fund 2, amid investor skepticism following the fallout of costly SoftBank bets including in WeWork.

News source: Nikkei
Mar 28
The Japanese government will create a special system to provide a one-year grace period for companies to pay tax and social insurance premiums due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Nikkei has learned. (Nikkei)
Mar 28
Supermarkets and convenience stores decided Thursday to stay open as usual in the coming days, after a request by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s for residents in the capital not to leave home over the weekend. (Japan Times)
Mar 28
Mask prices in Tokyo’s densely populated 23 wards jumped 11.3 percent in March from a year before, reflecting supply shortages stemming from the spread of COVID-19, government data showed Friday. (Japan Times)
Mar 28
The parent of Japanese airline All Nippon Airways is looking into a roughly 100 billion yen ($920 million) syndicated loan from seven lenders as the carrier fortifies its balance sheet to cope with the drop-off in air travel demand. (Nikkei)
Mar 26
A day after the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games were postponed by a year, Tokyo's landmark Imperial Hotel began arrangements to release the several hundred rooms it had withheld for organizers of the games during the July-September period. (Nikkei)
Mar 26
The $6 billion that just walked out the door with the postponement of the 2020 Olympics is only the start of the hits Japan's economy will sustain this year. (Nikkei)
Mar 25
Some Japanese hotels saw March and April bookings drop as much as 90% year on year amid the new coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey conducted by the land ministry, as the tourism industry continues to teeter. (Nikkei)
Mar 25
"Everybody needs a coach," stressed Bill Gates in the opening of a recent TED Talk. (newsonjapan.com)
Mar 23
Hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, Japan's economy faces its biggest challenge in more than a decade, with analysts warning of a technical recession and even the worse if this summer's Tokyo Olympics is cancelled. (Japan Today)
Mar 23
Investors are growing increasingly skittish about the stability of Masayoshi Son’s empire. (Japan Times)