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FBI, DHS and DoJ cool with SoftBank-Sprint merger

Add blessings to those of investment probe - just FCC to go now

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The Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have collectively withdrawn their objections to SoftBank's acquisition of the Sprint network.

The government bodies had asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to hold off on approving or forbidding the merger until it had examined the national security implications of a Japanese firm taking over the US' third largest wireless carrier.

The firms have already got the go-ahead from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), which said there were "no unresolved national security issues" in the deal. However, they will still need approval from the FCC before they can sign anything official.

SoftBank also needs to fend off aggressive countermoves from US firm Dish Network, which has one bid in to merge with Sprint and another to buy Clearwire, which Sprint is presently trying to buy for itself.

According to some reports, SoftBank has already started working on a plan B in case the Sprint deal falls through, holding talks with the German owners of T-Mobile US on buying that network instead.

The DoJ, FBI and DHS said they had looked into potential national security, law enforcement, public safety and supply chain issues and had no objections after their investigations. ®

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