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Softbank bid to purchase Sprint runs into US lawmakers' security concerns

SAN FRANCISCO--The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is urging regulators to delay endorsing Softbank's US$20 billion takeover of Sprint Nextel until the national security ramifications are evaluated.

The Japanese mobile carrier in October announced a deal to acquire 70 percent of Sprint Nextel, the number three U.S. carrier behind AT&T and Verizon Wireless, by the middle of this year. If completed, it would be the biggest overseas acquisition by a Japanese firm.

In a letter sent Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, the DOJ asked regulators there to delay taking action on the deal until “national security, law enforcement, and public safety issues” have been assessed.

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