US Justice Department Requests to Delay Sprint-Softbank Merger

Softbank’s road to acquiring a majority share of Sprint has become a bit bumpy, as Bloomberg reports that the United States Justice Department has requested the Federal Communications Commission to delay the deal.

The request, which was filed this morning, states that DOJ is “currently reviewing this matter for any national security, law enforcement, and public safety issues.” The office has also sought the help of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security in assessing the merger, which DOJ hopes the FCC would wait for the review to be completed before it moves forward in processing the merger’s approval.

It is important to note that this is not a special case, as such reviews are mandatory when a major US company moves to foreign ownership, referring to Japan-based Softbank. In 2001, Deutsche Telekom’s acquisition of Voicestream Wireless and Powertel–a deal that resulted to the birth of T-Mobile–underwent a similar review from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

The Sprint-Softbank merger was first announced in October last year and the two companies hope the deal would be approved by mid-2013.

Source: Bloomberg, via The Verge

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