U.S. FCC approves Sprint/Clearwire/SoftBank deal-sources
WASHINGTON, July 3
WASHINGTON, July 3 (Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday approved the merger of Sprint Nextel Corp and SoftBank Corp, sources familiar with the situation said, clearing the very last hurdle in the Japanese company's drawn-out battle to take control of the No. 3 U.S. wireless provider.
All three FCC commissioners voted in favor of the merger as well as Sprint's bid to buy out the shares of wireless company Clearwire Corp that it does not already own, said the sources who spoke anonymously because the approval has not yet been announced publicly.
SoftBank's $21.6 billion deal to buy 78 percent of Sprint would mark the largest-ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company. In filings with the FCC, Sprint, Clearwire and SoftBank had said they hoped to close both deals on July 8 or 9.