updated 09:15 pm EDT, Mon August 24, 2009
Sprint Virgin deal cleared
The Federal Trade Commission has given antitrust permission to the proposed merger between Sprint Nextel and Virgin Mobile USA, according to Reuters. Sprint in July initially announced its plans to take over the smaller carrier for $483 million, building upon its current 13.1 percent stake. The deal will merge Virgin's prepaid service with Boost Mobile.
Analysts have noted that the acquisition may serve to bolster Sprint's prepaid division and cancel Virgin's debt that has approached nearly $248 million. The smaller carrier already rents space on Sprint's network, while the Virgin brand is expected to be licensed until at least 2021 and as far forward as 2047.
Despite the FTC clearance, several international licenses still need to be transferred to Sprint. The FCC is set to review the transfer, although the process is not expected to pose any significant trouble.