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Softbank’s Sprint Bid Seen Surviving U.S. Review

Softbank Bid for Sprint Stake Seen Surviving U.S. Agency Review
Softbank Corp. would provide much-needed financial support for Sprint Nextel Corp. as the U.S. third-largest carrier tries to compete with bigger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Sprint Nextel Corp. said it expects the U.S. Justice Department’s review of its agreement to sell a majority stake to Softbank Corp. to be completed within an initial 30-day review period and won’t warrant an extended investigation.

Under the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust law, if regulators need more time to analyze a transaction, they can issue a “second request” extending the review period beyond 30 days.

“We expect the Justice Department antitrust review will be complete within the initial 30-day waiting period, without the need for a second-phase investigation,” John Taylor, a spokesman for Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint, said today in a telephone interview. “We don’t expect significant regulatory concerns.”

Taylor said the companies haven’t yet filed for antitrust approval. Sprint has said it expects the deal to win all regulatory approvals required by mid-2013 when it expects to close the transaction.

Gina Talamona, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment on the possible review.

Editors: Fred Strasser, Michael Hytha

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