WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission says it approved Softbank Corp.’s bid for Sprint Nextel Corp.
The FCC gave thumbs up to the $21.6 billion deal on Friday, completing the U.S. federal review of the Japanese company’s investment in Sprint, of Overland Park, Kan. Softbank will have a 78 percent stake in Sprint, the third largest U.S. wireless carrier.
The FCC also approved Sprint’s plan to buy the half of wireless operator Clearwire that it does not already own.
Softbank, based in Tokyo, has said it expects the Sprint deal to close this month, once it received FCC approval.
Interior Department establishing solar zones
WASHINGTON – Federal officials have taken another step toward establishing 17 new “solar energy zones” on public lands in the West by barring new mining claims that could impede renewable energy development on the sites.
The Interior Department said Friday it has withdrawn nearly 304,000 acres of public lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah from new mining claims.
To streamline solar development, the new zones are located near existing transmission lines and were chosen because they had fewer environmental and cultural issues that would require years of study and mitigation.
The Bureau of Land Management has approved 25 solar projects in the West since 2009 that when built will be able to power more than 2.4 million homes.
Morningstar finds illegal intrusion
NEW YORK – Morningstar Inc. says it discovered an illegal intrusion into its systems that may have compromised some of its clients’ personal information, including email addresses, passwords and credit card numbers.
The early-April intrusion affected about 2,300 users whose credit card information was stored in the Morningstar Document Research system, formerly known as 10-K Wizard. An additional 182,000 clients who had email addresses and user-generated passwords in the system may have been affected.
The company notified clients and reset passwords. It is offering 12 months of free identity protection to clients whose credit cards may be compromised.
Phillips 66 loses 25,000 gallons to pipeline leak
BILLINGS – About 25,000 gallons of gasoline leaked from an 8-inch underground Phillips 66 pipeline on the Crow Reservation in southeastern Montana, officials said.
There’s no immediate public safety threat from the leak, said a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Transportation, which is investigating. It occurred about 15 miles from the city of Lodge Grass.
The agency spokesman says Houston-based Phillips 66 Co. workers found the leak Wednesday after pressure dropped on the line.
The environmental impact remains uncertain. No waterways were immediately impacted, the spokesman said.
Whole Foods recalls cheese after outbreak
NEW YORK – Whole Foods Market Inc. is recalling Crave Brothers Les Freres cheese in response to an outbreak of a bacterial infection that has sickened people in several states and killed at least one person in Minnesota.
Whole Foods says the cheese may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. It was sold in 30 states and Washington, D.C., under names including Les Freres and Crave Brothers Les Freres.
Whole Foods said customers should throw out the cheese and bring in their receipts for a full refund.