On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Softbank’s acquisition of Sprint, the third largest carrier in the United States. Sprint itself is reported to be acquiring Clearwire, and, as a result, both companies would be thrust under the Softbank umbrella.
The Overland Park, Kansas based carrier announced early Friday via its website that the company’s shareholders have approved of Softbank’s acquisition of the company for a cool $21.6 billion. Though the Sprint acquisition has passed shareholder and FCC approval, the company’s buyout Clearwire will remain on the docket until it is approved by shareholders on July 8th.
The remaining shares of the Clearwire company will be bought out by Sprint for $5 per share, which will round out to about $14 billion. Softbank initially offered to buy a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20 billion, although after a surprise bid by Dish Network for $25.5 billion, the Japanese telecommunications company upped its initial bid and offered the current $21.6 billion.
This gives Softbank control of 78% of the Sprint wireless company, which marks one of the biggest transactions by a U.S carrier in the last several years. With the Sprint acquisition, Softbank will be able to improve its own 4G network. The Japanese company will be able to utilize Clearwire’s 4G technology and use Sprint’s existing LTE technology in the United States. Ultimately, this gives Sprint some strength in the U.S market, which is otherwise dominated by giants such as AT&T and Verizon.