Published: Thu, February 13, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Sprint merger approved by federal judge

Sprint merger approved by federal judge

During a two-week trial in December, T-Mobile and Sprint argued the merger will better equip the new company to compete with top players Verizon Communications and AT&T as the third-largest USA wireless carrier, creating a more efficient company with low prices and faster Internet speeds. "After the merger, T-Mobile has committed to bringing 5G to 97 percent of our nation's population within three years and 99 percent of Americans within six years".

With this important legal victory, the Sprint and T-Mobile merger looks to be a done deal.

Before the antitrust lawsuit, the $26 billion T-Mobile-Sprint had been approved by the FCC and the Justice Department. If the deal clears, Dish will instead focus its efforts on building a 5G network covering 20% of the country by June 2022 and 70% of the U.S. population by June 2023, with the outcome of facing a $2.2 billion payment to the U.S. Treasury if it fails to live up to its commitments. The states' lawsuit was the last major hurdle to the deal after it secured the blessing of regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department's antitrust division.

A federal district judge in New York City has approved the $26bn merger of telecom rivals Sprint and T-Mobile US, eliciting enthusiasm from company executives and investors. He lauded T-Mobile's business practices in a statement.

Deutsche Telekom shares rose as much as 3.6% to 15.40 euros in Frankfurt. T-Mobile shares also spiked 12% early trading Tuesday.

The states maintained that Dish was ill-equipped to become a competitive fourth wireless carrier, noting that it lacks experience, scale and brand recognition in wireless.

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T-Mobile - which had to sell assets to Dish, including Boost Mobile, to win DOJ approval - had demanded Dish only be allowed to sell a 5 percent stake to any new partners, sources said.

The deal between T-Mobile and Sprint was stopped in its tracks after an appeal by a group of states, led by California and NY senators.

Why did these state attorneys general sue to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger? A utility board in California also has to approve the deal.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere: "We've said it all along: the New T-Mobile will be a supercharged Un-carrier that is great for consumers and great for competition". Judge Victor Marrero ruled in favor of T-Mobile, seeming to gush over the corporation in his remarks. The states that sued had urged Marrero after the trial not to give any extra weight to the federal government's decision, calling the government's review of the deal "cursory".

While the T-Mobile and Sprint haven't gone into detail about their post-merger plans, back in December they did outline some of the things they meant to do once the merger was completed in an effort to win the support of states that were suing to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger at the time. Involved states, however, are considering an appeal.

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