It looks like the Sprint-T-Mobile merger is about to clear the last of any potential legal hurdles. According to a new report from the New York Times, the judge presiding over the case between the two companies and a coalition of state’s attorneys is expected to rule in favor of Sprint and T-Mobile.
The suit was first filed in June by a group of attorney generals from 13 states and the District of Columbia. It first arose after federal regulators, including the Department of Justice, gave the deal the go-ahead. Once the deal goes through, the third and fourth-largest carriers will combine to form the “New T-Mobile.” The new company will reportedly have more than 100 million customers.
State’s attorneys argued that the combination of the two companies would reduce competition in the telecommunications industry — an industry that’s already relatively low on competition. Even less competition could result in higher phone bills, they argued.
Sprint and T-Mobile, on the other hand, claimed that the combination of the two will allow them to better take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T, which are the largest and second-largest carriers in the U.S., respectively. Not only that, but the companies maintain that they’ll be better positioned to roll out next-generation 5G networks as a combined entity.
Final arguments for the lawsuit took place in January, and the decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday, according to the New York Times’ sources. None of the parties have reportedly read the ruling — leaving the door open for possible conditions or restrictions to be added.
It has been a long road to the merger for the two companies. The merger was first announced in June 2018. At the time, T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted a graphic detailing the ownership of the new company — with Deutche Telekom set to own 41.7 percent of the new T-Mobile and Softbank to own 27.4 percent. The remaining 31 percent will be publicly owned. At the time, it was said that Legere would serve as the new company’s CEO — however Legere has since announced that he’ll be stepping down as T-Mobile CEO in April when his current contract expires.
We’ve reached out to T-Mobile and Sprint for comment, and will update this article when we hear back.
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