FCC Approves SoftBank Takeover of Sprint, Clearwire
Eight months after SoftBank announced its intentions to take over Sprint Nextel, the Federal Communications Commission has voted unanimously to approve the bid.
The vote clears the way for SoftBank to purchase 78 percent of Sprint. In turn, Sprint will acquire the remaining minority stake of mobile-broadband provider Clearwire that it doesn’t already own. The only hurdle remaining is Clearwire’s shareholder vote on the Sprint transaction, slated for July 8.
“The increased investment in Sprint’s and Clearwire’s networks is likely to accelerate deployment of mobile broadband services and enhance competition in the mobile marketplace, promoting customer choice, innovation and lower prices,” said Mignon Clyburn, the FCC’s acting chairwoman.
SoftBank’s bid ended up being the only real one remaining after Dish Network dropped out of the process in June. Dish’s $25.6 billion bid had trumped Sprint’s in size, but the company failed to enter a final offer when Sprint set a deadline for one.
Sprint, currently America’s No. 3 carrier, will use the funds to expand the reach of its wireless network.