It's not much of a surprise at this point, but the Federal Communications Commission has approved the tri-company merger deal involving Japanese carrier SoftBank, Sprint, and Clearwire. The FCC ruling follows Justice Department approval several weeks ago, and some delicious drama that ended with Dish Network being shut out of the deal.

SoftBank is throwing $21.6 billion at Sprint to acquire a 78% stake in the company. Sprint is now also free to buy the remaining 49% of Clearwire it doesn't already own, giving it a big juicy slice of wireless spectrum. Last we heard, Dish Network was licking its wounds after losing its bid for Sprint and insinuated it could go after Clearwire. However, Clearwire's board has recommended shareholders approve the Sprint buyout at a meeting on July 8th.

This was the last regulatory hurdle to be cleared, so it looks like smooth sailing from here on out. Sprint says it anticipates the daisy chain of deals to be completed this very month. Check below for the official statement.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Renaud Lepage

    "On July 8th."

    We're the 5th today.

    • DirgeExtinction

      Yeah, they're having on meeting on the 8th. Clearwire's board just recommended its shareholders to approve the buyout that day.

    • squiddy20

      Try re-reading this sentence until the meaning sinks in: "However, Clearwire's board has recommended shareholders approve the Sprint buyout at a meeting on July 8th."

      • Renaud Lepage

        ...seems I can't read my second language after a day's work and bad sleep throughout the week. My apologies.

      • HopelesslyFaithful

        yea i miss read it too

  • Mastermind26

    I wonder if that will translate to any kind of savings for the us as consumers.....

    Ok, ok. that was a bad joke.
    Sorry. :/

    • HeywoodJablomeh.

      Savings or not, It doesn't matter. What matters is, I hope as a Sprint customer, Unlimited Data is to stay for us.

      • Mastermind26

        And better 4G coverage!

    • ins0mn1a

      i kind of hope that at some point down the line it actually is. here is what i am thinking: the reason us telcos are so damn awful (i am putting it all together: price vs quality, lack of options, video chat blocking, bootloader locking, crapware...) is primarily because they don't have real competition, in a sense that an unsatisfied customer can not easily jump from one provider to the other because the networks are generally not compatible. however, once everyone finally switches to LTE, they will still all work on different frequency bands but they will at least use the same protocol, and all that needs to be done to stir some real competition is to make multi-band lte devices (the reason i was ridiculously thrilled to hear the rumors about nexus 7 II). in theory, this should drive the prices down and quality up.

      so basically i am hoping that the development of sprint lte (that's what you do when you are a wireless carrier that just got some money and spectrum infusion, you develop lte, right?) will contribute to a shift in the us telecommunications market by bringing it closer to what is generally called "capitalism". not sure it will work like this though, the us telcos have proven so many times that they will do anything to keep ripping their customers off. also, the whole transition will take a long time.

  • GiantJay

    Very excited about this.

  • HopelesslyFaithful

    still wondering when we will see multi freq LTE phones :/ Wish they release a time line

  • topgun966

    Yay, an American owned and operated company now being bought by another countries company. Yippie.