SoftBank Sprint Merger Set to Close July 10

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SoftBank Sprint deal to close on July 10Japan's SoftBank cell service provider expects to complete its US$21.6 billion deal to buy 78 percent of Sprint on July 10, 2013. The deal was first announced last October and finally won FCC approval last Friday and originally included a 70 percent stake in Sprint.

Sprint is creating a new company called New Sprint as part of the deal to operate as a publicly traded subsidiary where SoftBank is investing an additional $17 billion.

The deal will give Sprint the means to expand its LTE network faster and will make it easier to keep its third place position behing Verizon and AT&T in the U.S. cell service market. Along with approval for SoftBank's buy, the FCC also approved Sprint's plans to buy the part of Clearwater that it didn't already own.

Gaining FCC approval is good news for Sprint since SoftBank has a reputation for boosting the performance of the mobile providers it buys, which means ultimately consumers will benefit from more cell service options as the Sprint network grows.

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With AT&T and Verizon firmly holding the top two spots in the U.S. cell service market, SoftBank's investment will help lock Sprint in the third place slot. It's a good thing T-Mobile is already used to being in fourth place.

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