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U.S. Justice Department 'Leaning Against' Approving T-Mobile/Sprint Merger
The merger might not be approved because the two companies "don't go far enough" to resolve antitrust concerns raised by the U.S. government.
Bloomberg's report comes shortly after United States Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai said that he would recommend approval of the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile.
T-Mobile and Sprint have implemented changes to their merger to allay concerns, including the sale of Boost Mobile, a three-year buildout of a 5G network, and a pledge not to raise prices while the network is being built, but these steps may not be enough to earn approval.
Back in April, there were reports suggesting the DoJ had told Sprint and T-Mobile that the merger would not be approved as it was originally structured, which prompted the plans to sell Boost Mobile.
Sprint and T-Mobile first announced a merger agreement in April 2018, but the completion of the merger requires the government to approve the deal. A merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would combine two of the four major carriers in the U.S., and it would use the T-Mobile name.
The two companies would have close to 100 million customers, putting it second only to Verizon. The U.S. DoJ is concerned the deal would be a major threat to competition.
Sprint and T-Mobile planned to have the merger completed no later than the first half of 2019, but that date was pushed back to late July earlier this year.