On Wednesday the FCC gave the go-ahead for Japan’s SoftBank to complete a deal that will see the company merge with Sprint. Worth $21.6 billion, the deal will bring in new stream of cash for the third-ranked US carrier as the company continues to expand its high-speed cellular network. Unlike other major telecom deals (AT&T’s attempt to buy T-Mobile comes to mind), there was little reason to believe the FCC would block the acquisition.
To round things out, the FCC has also approved the Sprint buyout of Clearwire, which means that company will now fall under SoftBank’s chain of command as well. Dish Network had entered competing bids for both Sprint and Clearwire, but it became clear that they were not forerunners to win either.
SoftBank’s mission is not to simply sit back and put Sprint on autopilot. Rather, the hope is to see a turnaround that will put some heat on the heels of top US carriers AT&T and Verizon. Look for the company to make some aggressive moves early once the ink dries.