It looks like the way has been cleared for Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984) (PINK:SFTBF)’s acquisition of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). Bloomberg’s Todd Shields reports that the Federal Communications Commission has voted in favor of the deal. That approval also covers Sprint Nextel’s bid to acquire Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), according to Bloomberg’s sources.
The FCC’s Approval For The Softbank – Sprint Deal
The sources told the media company that two of the three FCC members were for the deal between Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984) (PINK:SFTBF) and Sprint. Approving that deal, paves the way for Softbank to implement the improvements it has promised for Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s wireless network. Sprint is currently the third biggest carrier in the U.S., and Softbank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son wants to build the largest carrier in the world.
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The FCC was considering whether merger between Softbank and Sprint was in the best interests of the public. Earlier this year, national security officials and antitrust regulators approved the deal, provided that Softbank would not use telecom equipment made by the Chinese company Huawei Technologies in Sprint’s network. There’s concern that Chinese intelligence officials would spy on the U.S. using equipment made by Huawei, although Huawei says those concerns are “misguided.”
The Bidding Wars For Sprint, Clearwire
The path for Softbank to acquire Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) has not been an easy one, and neither has Sprint’s attempt to acquire Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR). DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) made unsolicited bids for both Clearwire and Sprint, but it doesn’t look like it will prevail in either case. DISH conceded defeat to Softbank in the Sprint deal, and Clearwire supposedly made an official acceptance of Sprint’s offer.
There’s a chance that DISH will now try to acquire T-Mobile USA, which merged with MetroPCS earlier this year, in its attempt to get into the mobile market.
The Final Deal Between Softbank And Sprint
Shareholders of Sprint Nextel officially voted to approve the deal with Softbank on June 25. After the transaction closes, Softbank will hold 78 percent of Sprint. Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) shareholders will vote on the offer from Sprint next week, which would add to the company’s valuable wireless spectrum control.
Bloomberg data indicates that after the Sprint – Softbank deal, the resulting carrier will be the sixth biggest telecom company in the world according to revenue and the second largest mobile Internet carrier.