According to Bloomberg, the US Department of Justice has just announced that it will submit a deferment request for the Sprint / Softbank merger to the FCC. Telecom acquisitions in the United States require approval from both the DoJ and the FCC, with the former agency focusing largely on potential anti-trust issues. Softbank officially announced the buyout in October.

It's not exactly a big surprise that the DoJ is looking at this deal cautiously. After the failure of the AT&T / T-Mobile merger for potential anti-trust and consumer protection concerns, the DoJ likely feels compelled to investigate a foreign takeover of a major US telecom with extra care. This isn't necessarily indicative of a problem, though the DoJ did not comment specifically on the reasoning behind the request for more time has cited "national security concerns" as the reason for extended review.

Sprint can't be happy about this, as the review will only serve to delay much-needed funds Softbank was planning to pump into the indebted wireless provider's LTE network buildout.

Bloomberg via The Verge

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.facebook.com/merckle Kyle Merckle

    so it begins..

  • HopelesslyFaithful

    uhuh....Sprint softbank is a terrible thing....it will great a monopoly and not competition between the damn duopoly we already have. Fucking stupid...if this gets shot down than we are totally screwed. This country has turned into a bureaucratic mess.

    • Freak4Dell

      How will it be a monopoly? Sprint's in a distant 3rd right now, and it's not like Softbank is magically injecting customers into Sprint. Even if Softbank takes over, they will have to reverse the customer losses and start gaining customers fast in order to compete with Verizon and AT&T. If they do ever get to that level, Verizon and AT&T will fight back, hard. Neither one of them likes being number 2, much less possibly being number 3. Softbank (or a big company outside of the existing carriers buying either Sprint or T-Mobile) is the only chance we have at starting a pricing war in the cellular industry. If those two stay distant 3rd and 4th place carriers forever, prices will only go up. Sure, there's a chance they could all collude and raise prices anyway, but at least with the buyout, there's a possibility of a pricing war.

      • HopelesslyFaithful

        ....it was sarcasm....the fact that DOJ wants to delay this kind of deal shows how damn stupid they are.

  • Chris

    Good. keep everything here in america. We dont need foreigners running AMERICAN companies. Have them run their own in their own country where they belong