Big news this afternoon regarding the proposed deal between Sprint and SoftBank that the two companies announced last year, as the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the FCC to defer its decision on the merger. According to a report from Bloomberg, the DOJ, FBI and Department of Homeland Security are busy looking over the proposed agreement for any potential problems related to national security and law enforcement.
It's also been revealed that Dish Network has said that it does not plan to try and block the Sprint and SoftBank deal. Bloomberg notes that Dish recently filed a letter to the FCC explaining that it won't try to have the Sprint-SoftBank agreement blocked through regulatory action, but Dish did say that it's involved in "continued negotiations" with Clearwire about a possible deal. Dish's decision comes a little over a week after it asked the FCC to pause its review of the aforementioned Sprint-SoftBank deal.
While the Justice Department's request doesn't necessarily mean that the SoftBank-Sprint deal won't happen, it does mean that we'll all likely have to wait a tad longer to see whether or not it ultimately gets approved or not. Considering that SoftBank, a Japanese carrier, is dropping $20.1 billion on Sprint, it's not a total surprise that the DOJ wants to go over the merger with a fine-toothed comb or two. Still, I'm sure that Sprint would like the deal to get done as soon as possible, especially since its proposed acquisition of Clearwire is contingent on the SoftBank merger going through. Stay tuned and we'll bring you more details on this situation as we get 'em.