The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing Softbank’s $20.1 billion takeover of Sprint for national security and policing concerns and has asked the FCC to hold off on any decision until the review is complete. Though this sounds scary and dire, Sprint and Softbank had expected this review to occur. It’s standard procedure with foreign investments of this type and scale
According to GigaOm, the main reason for the DOJ review is because Japanese-owned Softbank would control 70% of Spring (third largest carrier in the U.S.) and foreign ownership rules automatically triggered this review.
According to an email sent to GigaOm:
“This is a routine request when working with the [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] agencies regarding national security,” Sprint spokesman John Taylor said in an email. “We still expect to close later this year.”
So while “DOJ Tells FCC to Put a Hold on Spring-Softbank Deal” is an accurate headline, it just makes a mountain out of a molehill. Both parties expected the review, which probably will make sure that U.S. law enforcement will still have the same access they have now, and then things will continue.