Still, Sprint will likely have fewer workers than when Son's firm SoftBank acquired a controlling stake in 2013. Sprint has shed about 9,000 employees since 2012; it now employs roughly 30,000, according to annual reports...

... a clear victor is Masayoshi Son. Trump twice praised the Japanese billionaire in December, signaling that Son might as well have a direct line to the White House. This could be helpful for Son's other business plans. Under the Obama administration, he saw a marquee deal to merge Sprint with rival T-Mobile fail. Regulators opposed combining two of the four largest mobile telecom companies in the United States. Analysts say a Trump administration would be more likely to approve telecom mergers.

The exposure with Trump has already been lucrative for Son. Before the election, Sprint stock was trading for less than it did after SoftBank acquired the company. At the current price of about $8.80 per share, the value of SoftBank's stake has risen by more than $8 billion since Trump's victory. Son founded SoftBank in 1981 and is the company's CEO, chairman and major shareholder.

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