Just a little over a month after Sprint and SoftBank announced a deal that would see Japanese carrier SoftBank purchase a 70 percent stake in Sprint, the Now Network has filed documents with the FCC for approval of the agreement. As noted by Reuters, Sprint has asked the FCC for permission to transfer control over its spectrum licenses to SoftBank, as well as a green light for SoftBank to take over Sprint's portion of Clearwire.
SoftBank will be ponying up over $20.1 billion for 70 percent of Sprint, which includes $12.1 billion for Sprint stockholders and $8 billion of new capital. In its filing with the FCC, Sprint says that its deal with SoftBank will make the wireless market better "by creating a more vibrant rival" to AT&T and Verizon. Sprint is currently the third largest U.S. carrier in terms of total subscribers. Along with gaining approval from the FCC, this Sprint-SoftBank deal must also get the thumbs-up from the U.S. Department of Justice. Sprint and SoftBank expect their agreement to be completed by mid-2013.