FCC gives go-ahead for SoftBank purchase of Sprint, Sprint acquisition of Clearwire
The Federal Communications Commission has approved SoftBank's purchase of Sprint, along with Sprint's own acquisition of Clearwire. FCC approval was the last government review needed before the deal could go through. In a statement, CEO Dan Hesse praised the decision, calling the purchases "transformative transaction" that will rescue the wireless industry from a duopoly. From Sprint:
“We would like to thank Acting Chairwoman Clyburn, Commissioners Rosenworcel and Pai, as well as the staff of the FCC for their thorough review of these transactions,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “Just two years ago, the wireless industry was at the doorstep of duopoly, but with these transformative transactions, we are one step closer to a stronger Sprint which will better serve consumers, challenge the market share leaders and drive innovation in the American economy.”
SoftBank promises that that the company's investment in Sprint will allow them to become a true rival to market leads AT&T and Verizon. Certainly, the purchase of Clearwire and the infusion of cash from SoftBank should give Sprint the ability to step up their LTE rollout, which continues slowly, though steadily. The Clearwire purchase in particular, with that company's experience with a high-speed wireless network rollout should aid Sprint in their efforts. Both Clearwire and Sprint were previously considered for purchase by satallite TV provider Dish Network.
SoftBank and Sprint expect their transactions to be completed in the early part of this month.