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FCC clears Deutsche Telekom-VoiceStream deal
Posted: 26-Apr-2001 [Source: FT]

[Deutsche Telekom's long awaited acquisition of VoiceStream has been approved by the FCC.]

By Peter Spiegel in Washington -- "US telecommunications officials on Wednesday announced they had approved Deutsche Telekom's $29bn takeover of VoiceStream, the US wireless provider, in a deal that pushed the US and the EU to the brink of a trade war last year when Congress moved to prohibit the deal.

"The approval from the Federal Communications Commission, on a unanimous vote, clears the last big hurdle for the sale. National security officials must still approve the deal, but their assent is expected to be perfunctory, since the companies signed an agreement with the Justice Department in January dealing with the concerns. The FCC said that beyond the Justice Department agreement, it imposed no other significant conditions on the deal.

"The order accompanying the approval will also be an important victory for other foreign government-owned telecoms looking to make acquisitions in the US. The FCC found that a company partially owned by a foreign government can acquire a US phone licence if the FCC determines the sale is in the public interest. After the merger is completed, the German government will own about 45 per cent of Telekom stock.

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