In late June, Sprint Nextel shareholders voted to approve the proposed merger of Sprint and SoftBank during a special shareholders meeting. The only hurdle left for the companies was the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which needed to approve the transaction. On Friday, while many Americans were still enjoying an extended Fourth of July holiday, the FCC came through with its approval, clearing the way for the merger.
“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 Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint. “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.”
The FCC voted unanimously to approve both the SoftBank-Sprint merger and Sprint's acquisition of telecom company Clearwire. Clearwire's shareholders are expected to approve the transaction when they vote on the acquisition at a shareholders meeting scheduled for today. Clearwire's Board of Directors has endorsed the acquisition, recommending it to shareholders after Sprint increased its acquisition price in late June.
“We appreciate the forward thinking, consumer focused stance the FCC has taken by approving the proposed transaction. As the company that built America’s first nationwide 4G network, Clearwire looks forward to joining Sprint and deploying an even faster and richer 4G experience for consumers across the country,” said Clearwire CEO and President Erik Prusch. “This is the right transaction at the right time to best deploy Clearwire’s spectrum to create a broadband network that will bring additional services and alternatives to wireless consumers.”