Sprint and T-Mobile Extend Merger Deadline to July 29

Sprint and T-Mobile have announced an agreement to extend the deadline for their proposed $26 billion merger deal to July 29 (via Reuters).

The extension was revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and means that the two carriers now have more time to get the proposed merger approved by both the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.

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The Justice Department's antitrust division has been exploring whether the deal would result in a major threat to competition. Earlier this month, Justice Department staff members reportedly told Sprint and T-Mobile that their planned merger is unlikely to be approved as it is currently structured.

However, in an interview on CNBC, Justice Department Antitrust Division chief Makan Delrahim said he had not made a decision regarding the T-Mobile and Sprint merger and is waiting for more information from the two companies.

"I have not made up my mind," he told CNBC. "The investigation continues. We've requested some data from the companies that will be forthcoming. We don't have a set number of meetings or a time line."

"If the case is there for us to challenge a transaction or suggest changes, we will do that," he said. The division is reviewing the argument that the deal would allow the combined company to produce a better, faster 5G, the next generation of wireless, he added.

T-Mobile and Sprint first announced plans for a merger in April 2018. If approved, the merger will combine two of the four major wireless carriers in the United States, giving the new company nearly 100 million customers.

With discussions ongoing, Sprint and T-Mobile may be willing to offer concessions that include assets sales to get the government to approve the merger plans.

However, other challenges await the two carriers, with multiple state attorneys prepared to launch lawsuits if the Justice Department doesn't end up challenging the merger, according to sources that spoke to The Wall Street Journal.

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Top Rated Comments

progx Avatar
66 months ago
They should deny merging. It ends up being less choice and the consumer pays more.
Typically, I would agree with your statement. However, Sprint needs this merger more than T-Mobile. Plus, it would create a third competitor in a two horse race. This merger would be good for consumers. Since Verizon and AT&T still have their "cooperative" grip on the US, T-Mobile and Sprint as they are now don't have an effect on the market as whole unfortunately.

If this deal doesn't go through, someone else will attempt to pick up Sprint and their frequency waves.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lyngo Avatar
66 months ago
If the merger gets denied and sprint goes belly up, what happens with all of their employees and FCC frequencies? Does it go to auction for both Verizon and att to gobble up? Wouldn’t it be best for this merger to happen in order for better competition with T-Mobile receiving more spectrum and keeping most of sprints employees?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
progx Avatar
66 months ago
If the merger gets denied and sprint goes belly up, what happens with all of their employees and FCC frequencies? Does it go to auction for both Verizon and att to gobble up? Wouldn’t it be best for this merger to happen in order for better competition with T-Mobile receiving more spectrum and keeping most of sprints employees?
You put it better than I did. Exactly my thoughts on this merger. This isn't the same when AT&T tried to buy T-Mobile years ago, this is survival for Sprint and a boost for T-Mobile.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
msp3 Avatar
66 months ago
Yes, let's throw the book at the 2 half-sized carriers that can't truly compete against the 2 full-sized carriers that effectively have a duopoly going on in most markets/people's minds but allow every other company under the sun (especially the shill media, looking at you ATT/Time Warner, NBC/Comcast, Disney/Fox) to merge and actually corner the market.

Great job DOJ
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rocketman Avatar
66 months ago
They should deny merging. It ends up being less choice and the consumer pays more.
False narrative in such a competitive industry all about coverage and network. It's all about tower locations not handset rentals. One preceeds the other.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Victor Mortimer Avatar
66 months ago
Except the opposite is true. Consolidation in wireless has led to falling prices.
Not at all. Prices are probably higher than they would have been if there had been more competition. Prices fell because of technology improvements. But we're almost certainly seeing higher prices than we would if there had been less consolidation.

Going from four to three major carriers will likely be the tipping point on competition, the point where prices start going up. It's an incredibly bad idea to allow this merger.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)