FCC approves Softbank/Sprint deal

WASHINGTON (AP) - Japan's Softbank Corp will become a major player in the U.S. cellular market.

Its $21.6 billion bid for a 78 percent stake in Sprint Nextel was approved by the Federal Communications Commission today.

Sprint is the third largest U.S. wireless carrier.

The FCC also approved Sprint's plan to buy the half of wireless operator Clearwire that it doesn't already own.

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