The $26.5B T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Moves a Big Step Forward

The Justice Department Friday cleared T-Mobile’s long-delayed $26.5 billion merger with Sprint, a deal that critics say will reduce competition for wireless service and lead to higher prices. To win approval, the companies agreed to sell assets to Dish intended to help the company, which now provides satellite TV service, launch a new wireless carrier. The Justice Department blessing clears a major hurdle, but the deal still faces an antitrust suit from 13 states and the District of Columbia that could mean further delays. If completed, the deal would strengthen T-Mobile’s position as the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier, with almost 114 million subscribers, after accounting for the 9 million Sprint customers that will be transferred to Dish. AT&T is the …

FCC Chair Backs T-Mobile and Sprint Deal, Clearing Hurdle for Merger

T-Mobile's proposed $26.5 billion merger with Sprint just cleared its first legal hurdle, as Federal Communications Commission chair Ajit Pai says he will recommend that the agency approve the deal. The FCC will most likely follow his lead, but the deal still needs approval from the Justice Department, where antitrust enforcement staffers have expressed concerns, Bloomberg reports. In an announcement, Pai said Monday that the two companies agreed to expand their rural coverage if the merger is approved, by building a 5G wireless network that will cover 97 percent of the US population within three years and 99 percent of the country within six years. Pai says the new network will cover 90 percent of rural residents within six years. …