SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse

SoftBank's efforts to purchase Sprint got one step closer to completion on Tuesday, as Sprint's shareholders overwhelmingly approved the proposed purchase. Sprint says that about 98 percent of the votes cast at a special shareholders meeting were in favor of SoftBank's offer. Facing a competing bid from Dish, SoftBank recently upped its offer to $21.6 billion in cash and stock — $16.64 billion of which would be delivered to Sprint shareholders. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said "the transaction with SoftBank should enhance Sprint's long-term value and competitive position by creating a company with greater financial flexibility," in a prepared statement released after the vote. The companies expect the merger to close early next month, after which it will be subject to standard regulatory scrutiny.