US, Japan firms’ deal approved

US, Japan firms’ deal approved

US, Japan firms’ deal approved

A clerk works in front of a SoftBank Corp branch in Tokyo. REUTERS photo

Sprint Nextel Corp and Japan’s SoftBank Corp have reached an agreement with U.S. authorities on the national security aspects of the Japanese firm’s pending $20.1 billion deal to win control of the U.S. wireless carrier, people familiar with the matter said.

As a part of that agreement, the U.S. government will have a veto over new equipment purchases by Sprint in certain circumstances if the two companies merge, one source said.

The government will also establish a four-member oversight committee to make sure the companies abide by their national security promises. A Sprint board member will sit on that committee, said the source, who did not want to be named because the information was not public.

Formal announcement of the highly unusual agreement - drawn up amid fears of Chinese espionage - is likely to
come early on yesterday in the United States, four sources told Reuters.

Japanese mobile operator SoftBank agreed to buy a 70 percent stake in Sprint last October. That deal faces a challenge from Dish Network Corp, a U.S. satellite TV provider which last month launched a rival $25.5 billion bid for Sprint.