Softbank Gets State Approval for Sprint Acquisition

The California Public Utilities Commission is the final state to approve the deal

By
Thu, May 23, 2013

IDG News Service (Washington, D.C., Bureau) — SoftBank has received all the necessary state approvals for the Japanese mobile carrier to acquire a majority stake in Sprint Nextel for US$20 billion, the companies announced.

On Thursday, California Public Utilities Commission voted to approve the transaction, giving the companies the final state approval needed for the transaction. The two companies filed applications in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

Still on the table for Sprint is a $25.5 billion counteroffer from Dish, a satellite TV service provider. This week, SoftBank gave Sprint permission to negotiate with Dish.

Still, Sprint and SoftBank appear to be moving forward with their deal. The companies continue to work with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and other agencies on approval of the deal, they said in a press release. The two companies anticipate closing the deal by July 1, they said.

The California commission found that SoftBank's investment in Sprint will lead to increased competition that "will benefit consumers and the telecommunications marketplace," according to information from Sprint.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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