Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Mobile and Sprint Merger in Trouble From Antitrust Officials

Katie Ramirez | 17 April, 2019, 10:26

T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to merge under the T-Mobile banner back in April 2018. That paragraph states that Justice Department staffers told the companies the planned merger is unlikely to be approved as now structured.

Sprint shares fell about 9 percent after the bell as investors increased bets the deal would not be completed following a Wall Street Journal report the merger is unlikely to be approved as now structured.

Today's report also says that some state antitrust officials have similar concerns about the T-Mobile-Sprint merger and that they plan to launch a legal challenge to the deal if the Department of Justice doesn't oppose it.

A final decision on the deal is likely near the end of the 180-day Federal Communications Commission review period that expires in June. DOJ spokesman Jeremy Edwards declined to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Messages to T-Mobile, Sprint and DOJ were not immediately answered. A number of state attorneys general are also reviewing the deal.

More news: SpaceX Lands But Dunks A Booster

The DOJ could also approve the merger with conditions, but that would require agreement with T-Mobile and Sprint on what those conditions would be.

To alleviate concerns, it is reported that T-Mobile and Sprint could could offer concessions, such as assets sales. T-Mobile and Sprint are smaller players in a market led by Verizon and AT&T, but T-Mobile has surged in recent years by offering more customer-friendly deals than the two biggest carriers. But the two carriers are said to remain in talks with government officials and regulators.

T-Mobile unveiled an in-home Internet service last month, while claiming that it can only expand it significantly if the government approves the merger.

A final decision on the matter isn't reportedly slated to come down for several weeks.

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