Just as was rumored, the Federal Communications Commission today announced that it has approved SoftBank's deal with Sprint as well as Sprint's acquisition of Clearwire. The FCC says that, after reviewing the terms of the two deals, it didn't feel that they're likely to harm competition or public interest. In a statement on the deal's approval, acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said that the two transactions are "likely to accelerate deployment of mobile broadband services and enhance competition in the mobile marketplace" through increased customer choice and lower prices.
Sprint also issued its own announcement of the FCC's approval that includes statements from Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. All three executives thanked the FCC for its approval and then went on to tout the benefits that the agreements will bring, such as improved services and increased consumer focus. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son also said that the deals will help to begin the process of "creating a true competitor in a market dominated by two companies." Sprint says that the transactions are expected to close in early July 2013.
Now that the SoftBank-Sprint and Sprint-Clearwire transactions have cleared the FCC, there are no major hurdles standing between the deals and their completions. Additionally, Sprint's shareholders have already given the green light to the big yellow carrier's deal with SoftBank, meaning that Clearwire's shareholder vote on the Sprint deal is one of the final steps toward all three deals reaching completion. That vote is scheduled to take place on July 8, and Clearwire's board of directors has recommended that stockholder's vote in favor of the Sprint acquisition.