Justice Department Wants FCC to Delay Softbank Deal for Sprint

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Satellite TV

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked the Federal Communications Commission to defer a decision on the $20 billion Softbank plan to acquire control of Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S). Agencies of the DoJ, including the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security are continuing to review the acquisition for issues related to national security and law enforcement.

In a related announcement this morning, Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) said it would not seek to block the proposed acquisition by Softbank. Dish had filed a request with the FCC earlier this month seeking a delay in the commission's decision, but the company now says that it will not file a petition opposing the Sprint-Softbank deal citing its own continuing discussions to acquire Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ: CLWR) or some parts of the wireless carrier company.

Sprint has offered to acquire the 49% or so of Clearwire it does not already own for $2.97 a share. Dish countered with an offer of $3.30 a share, but one that contains many complications.

Shares of Sprint are up about 0.7% at $5.60 in a 52-week range of $2.10 to $6.04.

Clearwire's shares are down about 1.5% at $3.31 in a 52-week range of $0.83 to $3.41, and Dish's shares are up 1.2% at $37.96 after posting a new 52-week high 0f $38.08 earlier today. The stock's previous range is $26.12 to $38.00.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mergers and Buy Outs, Politics, Regulation, Satellite, Telecom & Wireless Tagged: CLWR, DISH, S