US: FCC approves T-Mobile, Sprint merger

T-Mobile’s proposed US$26.5 billion tie-up with Sprint won formal approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday, October 16, in a vote split along party lines, two sources told Reuters

Chairman Ajit Pai and two Republican commissioners voted to approve the deal while two Democratic commissioners voted against it.

The deal to combine the third and fourth largest US wireless carriers, which has been fighting for government approval since April 2018, still faces a lawsuit brought by a group of state attorneys general, headed by New York.

The lawsuit against Sprint and its parent company Softbank Group and T-Mobile and its parent Deutsche Telekom AG argues the deal will lead to higher prices for consumers. A trial date has been set for December 9. 

The US Justice Department approved the deal in July. Under the Justice Department deal, the companies would divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, to satellite television company Dish Network, and provide it with access to 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. That deal is worth about US$5 billion.

Full Content: Reuters

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