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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.


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.



Top Rated Comments

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24 weeks 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.
Rating: 17 Votes
24 weeks 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?
Rating: 15 Votes
24 weeks 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.
Rating: 14 Votes
24 weeks 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
Rating: 8 Votes
24 weeks 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.
Rating: 6 Votes
24 weeks 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.
Rating: 4 Votes
24 weeks ago
They should deny merging. It ends up being less choice and the consumer pays more.
Rating: 3 Votes
24 weeks ago
I’d really like this to succeed. I’d love an alternative to the Blue and the Red. (Off topic, but in politics too, I might add.)
Rating: 3 Votes
24 weeks ago

... The Justice Department's antitrust division has been exploring whether the deal would result in a major threat to competition. ...

I would suggest that perhaps this is the wrong question. On the surface, it's pretty obvious that replacing four huge companies with three huge companies in any given industry will result in less competition overall within that industry.

Rather, the real question (and the reason why it's taking so long to come to a decision) revolves around whether or not both Sprint and T-Mobile are going to continue unhindered into the future without the merger. The international parent companies of both respective US based operations have grumbled about the US market and implied at different times that they might just pull out. If a failed merger attempt prompts one or the other to finally make good on that threat, than we're abruptly down to three (or two!) titans anyway, and each of those would then get a chance to vie for some portion of the displaced holdings of the defunct operation(s), including their customer base, antenna infrastructure, bandwidth licenses, etc. That kind of an ending could potentially enable the richest of those remaining to increase their advantage over the other carriers. In contrast, allowing the merger would theoretically push T-Mobile up to near size parity with the other two behemoths.

Bottom line: It's a very complicated gamble with a lot of moving parts, and there really is no way that the DOJ can know for sure which road will lead to the best overall outcome.
Rating: 3 Votes
24 weeks ago

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.

The status of Sprint, of which I've been a customer for 20 years, has become precarious enough that it needs this merger in order to survive. If the merger is denied Sprint will likely go belly up, and T-Mobile will be the weak sister to ATT and Verizon. The merger would create three strong competing carrier corporations; its denial would also eventually lead to three carriers, one at a strong disadvantage. As a Sprint customer, the merger likely would entail that my current CDMA devices would need to be replaced or altered to accommodate T-Mobile's GSM networks. I'm not sure exactly what would become of Sprint's current CDMA networks. In any case, by the time the merger finalizes and the technology changes I'd likely need new phone hardware anyhow.
Rating: 3 Votes

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