Wary of China, U.S. Steps Into Sprint’s Board

SoftBank Corp. is readying a plan to allow the U.S. government an unusual level of influence over the operations of Sprint Nextel Corp., a concession to ease security concerns raised by the proposed cross-border takeover.

Tokyo-based SoftBank has agreed to give the federal government the right to approve one of the directors it names to Sprint’s board. That director will be responsible for overseeing national security issues. People familiar with the matter said the government is also seeking the right to approve some of Sprint’s equipment purchases and wants the removal of Chinese gear from a Sprint affiliate’s network.

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