A mere five days after acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn sent the Sprint-SoftBank-Clearwire deal to the committee for a vote, Bloomberg reports that at least two of the three sitting commissioners have voted for the deal. The vote means not only that the FCC will allow Softbank to go forward with its acquisition of Sprint, but will also not stand in the way of Sprint buying up the remaining portion of Clearwire that it has been pursuing. Both deals have been beset by high-stakes gamesmanship from Dish, which alternately tried to merge with Sprint and buy Clearwire out from under the carrier. The moves forced SoftBank to improve its offer for Sprint and forced Sprint itself to raise its offer for Clearwire — ultimately knocking Dish out of the running for either company.
Assuming that Bloomberg's report is correct, we may finally have some closure in one of the craziest mobile corporate sagas in recent memory, with more twists than the failed AT&T-T-Mobile tie-up and more turns than even LightSquared's ill-fated attempt to break into the industry. The US Department of Justice, Committee on Foreign Investment, and Sprint's own shareholders have all given a thumbs-up on the deal — so with the FCC's approval it looks as though there may not be any more significant roadblocks to the buyout.