Federal regulators are expected to give a nod of approval to Japanese telecom company SoftBank’s bid for a controlling stake in wireless carrier Sprint, according to a Bloomberg report that cites unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
Last week, Sprint shareholders overwhelmingly approved the $21.6 billion merger offer from SoftBank, which gives the Japanese company a 78 percent stake in Sprint. The news is probably refreshing to Sprint shareholders as well, especially since the deal had previously stalled due to competing offers from Dish Network that ultimately fell through. The SoftBank deal also includes a 50 percent stake in Clearwire, which Sprint has relied on to lessen the load of its data-hungry subscribers.
At least three members on the Federal Communications Commission have voted on the deal, according to Bloomberg’s sources, with two of them voting favorably. A final decision from the FCC should come soon.
If the deal goes through, Sprint will still be the country’s third largest wireless carrier but will be closer to the second largest carrier, AT&T. At the very least, Sprint will now have far more resources at its disposal to grow its business.
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