Softbank Surges on Report FCC Rejects Sprint Delay: Tokyo Mover

Softbank Corp., the Japanese mobile carrier seeking to buy Sprint Nextel Corp., rose to the highest in almost seven years after the New York Post reported U.S. regulators rejected a request to delay a review of the deal.

Softbank, controlled by billionaire Masayoshi Son, rose 4.7 percent to close at 3,545 yen, the highest since April 2006. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.9 percent.

The Federal Communications Commission will maintain its original schedule for reviewing Softbank’s $20 billion offer for Sprint, dismissing a request for a delay from Dish Network Corp., the Post reported, citing people “close to the deal.” The Japanese carrier is also expected to overcome Justice Department concerns, the report said.

Mitsuhiro Kurano, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Softbank, Japan’s third-largest wireless company, declined to comment on the report.

Dish asked the FCC for a delay as it separately competes with Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint for Clearwire Corp. Sprint, the third-biggest U.S. wireless carrier, has offered to buy out minority shareholders in its Clearwire unit for $2.97 a share. Dish has made a $3.30 per share bid.

The FCC has included Sprint’s offer for Bellevue, Washington-based Clearwire in its review of Softbank’s plan to buy about 70 percent of Sprint.

The U.S. Justice Department, last month asked the FCC to defer consideration of the Softbank acquisition. The department, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security are reviewing the proposal for national security and law enforcement issues, according to a filing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariko Yasu in Tokyo at myasu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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