Sprint: DOJ Clears Softbank/Sprint Deal

According to a letter to the FCC supplied by Sprint, the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have all given the green light to Softbank's purchase of the wireless company.

"The agencies have reviewed the information provided by the applicants and analyzed the measures undertaken by the applicants to address potential national security, law enforcement and public safety issues, including supply chain issues. Based on this review, the agencies hereby notify the Commission that they have no objection to the grant of the applications," said Richard Sofield, director, Foreign Investment Review Staff, National Security Division, at the Department of Justice.

"As we indicated last week, the national security review of the transaction is completed and there are no unresolved national security issues relating to the transaction," said Vonya McCann, senior VP of government affairs for Sprint. "We look forward to the Commission's prompt completion of its public interest review."

DISH has made a competing offer for Sprint. The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council has asked the FCC to get more info from SoftBank about its commitment to diversity before approving the deal. Justice deals with antitrust issues and the FBI and Department of Homeland Security were concerned about foreign ownership -- SoftBank is Japanese-owned. The FCC's review also includes public interest issues involved with the license transfer.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.