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Report: FCC Approves SoftBank’s Bid for Sprint

Wed, 07/03/2013 - 9:14am
Ben Munson

SoftBank’s $21.6 billion deal for Sprint has won the approval of the FCC in a 2-1 vote.

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, said the Commission’s decision covers both SoftBank’s bid and Sprint’s $5 per share offer to buy the remaining 50 percent of Clearwire it doesn’t already own.

Sprint shareholders last week overwhelmingly voted in favor of SoftBank’s bid to acquire a 78-percent stake in the U.S.’s third-largest wireless provider. With the quick approval from the FCC, it appears the companies’ prediction of a finalized deal by July will come true.

The Clearwire piece of the SoftBank-Sprint deal, and all of the valuable spectrum holdings that come with it, appears to be right on track as well. Clearwire shareholders are scheduled to vote July 8 on Sprint’s offer. But with Clearwire’s board firmly recommending the deal and Dish Network having formally withdrawn its competing bid for Clearwire, the vote should go in Sprint’s favor.

In a statement, Sprint said it had already received commitments from Clearwire minority shareholders representing 9 percent of Clearwire’s voting shares. Sprint will, of course, vote its 45 percent in favor, as will Comcast, Intel and Bright House, which collectively own nearly 13 percent.

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