The boards of both companies have approved the deal, but it is still pending approval from Sprint shareholders and U.S. regulators. Softbank expects the deal to be completed by mid-2013.
Sprint is the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier. The company has struggled in recent years, even despite the addition of Apple's iPhone to its offerings last year.
The deal marks the largest foreign acquisition by a Japanese company.
Microsoft (MSFT) is trending as the company announced the launch of Xbox Music. Xbox Music will be a streaming service with a catalog of about 30 million songs. Users will be able to listen to any song for free on devices running the latest version of Windows, as well as the Xbox console. The new music service is available in a free, ad-supported version on Windows 8 devices, a $10 subscription ad-free version on Windows 8 devices plus the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 8, and a digital download store. Xbox Music will solely be available on Microsoft platforms for now, but the company said it will hit Android and iOS soon after. Xbox Music will start appearing on the Xbox when Microsoft begins updating its software over the Internet on Tuesday. It will also be featured on Windows 8 when the operating system is launched on Oct. 26. Microsoft has sold more than 67 million Xbox consoles to date.
CNH Global (CNH) is another popular search. The farm and construction equipment maker rejected a $1.1 billion buyout offer from Fiat Industrial. Fiat already owns 88% of CNH and had been seeking to purchase the remaining stake. Fiat proposed on May 30 that the companies combine to create the world's third-largest capital-goods company through a share exchange with no premium for CNH shareholders.
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