FCC Close to Approving SoftBank Bid for Sprint
After eight grueling months, SoftBank President Masayoshi Son is about to clear the final hurdle between him and his goal of turning his company into the world’s top wireless carrier: Garnering a thumbs-up from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on SoftBank’s takeover bid for Sprint Nextel.
FCC acting chairwoman Mignon Clyburn told her fellow commissioners late on Thursday to prepare to vote on a rat’s nest of a deal that will see SoftBank purchase 78 percent of Sprint and Sprint acquire the remaining shares of mobile-broadband provider Clearwire that it doesn’t already own.
“SoftBank, Sprint, and Clearwire requested that the Federal Communications Commission approve their applications for transfer of control,” Clyburn said in a brief statement. “At my direction, earlier today, staff circulated a proposed Order to the full Commission for a vote.”
Sources tell AllThingsD that the vote to which Clyburn refers could take place as early as Friday. Reuters is hearing the same thing, with its own sources saying the FCC’s vote is likely to end in approval for the transaction without any mandated spectrum divestitures. If it does, Son and SoftBank will finally be able to move forward with their promised upending of the U.S. wireless industry.