NEW YORK, June 7 The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday gave the Federal Communications Commission the green light to make its ruling on SoftBank Corp's plan to purchase 70 percent of Sprint Nextel for $20.1 billion.
FCC approval would be the final regulatory hurdle for the deal but it still needs to be approved by shareholders. A June 12 shareholder vote may prove to be trickiest obstacle as SoftBank faces a $25.5 billion counter bid from Dish Network . Many shareholders have said they prefer Dish's offer.
The Justice Department was reviewing the national security implications of the deal as part of the so-called "Team Telecom" that includes the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
It said on Friday that it was withdrawing its Jan. 2013 request to the FCC defer its decision on the deal as it has no objections.
The clearance from the Justice Department came after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) told the companies the week before that it had completed its national security review of the proposed deal.