In the video segment above, Fool.com analyst Andrew Tonner discusses news that Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in advanced talks to acquire Sprint (NYSE:S). The additional financial backing could be crucial for the telecom-industry underdog as it attempts to compete with frontrunners AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ). Sprint is not alone in this regard, as many of the smaller wireless companies could benefit from the added strength of a partnership as well. With last week's T-Mobile/MetroPCS (NASDAQ:TMUS) merger, it appears that the U.S. telecom industry may indeed be entering into a consolidation phase.

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