ANNOUNCEMENT 24 May 2013In May 2013, the government of the United States of America announced changed rules for foreign investors.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
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Senators Charles Schumer and John McCain are raising questions about the proposed sale of the Sprint Nextel Corporation telecommunications network to Japan's SoftBank Corporation.
In a letter sent on May 24, 2013 to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Federal Communications Commission Acting Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Senator Schumer expressed concern that such a sale could endanger the national security. He wrote to them in their capacities as chairman of the inter-agency Committee on Foreign. Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), respectively, because control of Sprint and the substantial spectrum and common carrier licenses it holds would be transferred to a foreign entity, and the proposed sale should receive 'careful consideration.' The Japanese company reportedly uses Chinese telecommunications equipment and, in the senator's view, could be vulnerable to Chinese cyber-espionage and hacking. Citing the Japanese firm's 'alleged ties to China, the country that is currently the leading source of cyber breaches,' he pointed to the potential threat to US national security via the telecommunications network currently supplied and run by Sprint and its affiliate, Clearwire Corporation. The company's optical fiber network carries Internet connections both to private homes and industry and also contracts Internet services with many Federal agencies. Even more sensitive, Schumer pointed out, 'Sprint also operates special, secure networks-called Peerless IP or PIP-used by the federal government.'
Senator McCain also wrote to Acting Commissioner Clyburn on May 23, 2013 expressing similar concerns to those of his Democratic colleague.