April 23, 2019

Sprint merger faces uncertain future amid reported resistance from DOJ

17 April 2019, 06:27 | Casey Mitchell

T-Mobile CEO John Legere says the premise of the Wall Street Journal's story "is simply untrue".

DOJ staffers "have told T-Mobile US and Sprint that their planned merger is unlikely to be approved as now structured", The Wall Street Journal reported today, citing people familiar with the matter.

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.

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A final decision on the merger must be made by both the FCC and DOJ. Staffers in the department question the validity of those arguments and are concerned about removing a competitor from the wireless industry, according to the Journal. The Justice Department declined to comment.

The agreement to combine the carriers, struck in April 2018, was approved by both companies' shareholders in October and has received national security clearance, but still needs approval from the Justice Department and FCC.

Sprint and T-Mobile are in the final stages of a merger, nearing completion.

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At one point, Sprint shares fell more than 9 percent in after-hours trading. For example, T-Mobile claims that its 5G home internet service is only possible if it merges with Sprint.

The T-Mobile/Sprint deal would reduce the number of nationwide mobile carriers from four to three, limiting customer choice across the United States. Sprint, meanwhile, posits that the merger would allow the new T-Mobile to better compete against AT&T and Verizon.

"T-Mobile and Sprint could offer concessions, such as assets sales, to address the government's concerns", the Journal wrote.

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About 100,000 are shot every year in a hunting trade worth about A$140 million (NZ149.5 million) to the state. The woman suffered life-threatening upper-body and leg injuries and was treated at the property by paramedics.

Discussions between the two carriers and government officials are reportedly ongoing. It's unclear when the agencies might make a decision, but the DOJ is likely many weeks away.

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