FCC gives official nod to deals by SoftBank, Sprint, Clearwire

WASHINGTON, July 5 Fri Jul 5, 2013 3:22pm EDT

WASHINGTON, July 5 (Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced its official approval of two related deals by Sprint Nextel Corp, SoftBank Corp and Clearwire Corp.

The regulatory approval was the last hurdle for SoftBank's $21.6 billion bid to buy 78 percent of Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. wireless provider. Sprint's bid to buy out the portion of wireless company Clearwire that it doesn't already own faces a vote by minority shareholders on July 8.

"Today is a good day for all Americans who use mobile broadband services," FCC's Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said in a statement. "After thorough review, the Commission has found that the proposed Softbank-Sprint-Clearwire transactions would serve the public interest."

The FCC had the votes needed for approval on Wednesday, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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