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Author Topic: T-Mobile-Sprint merger will receive DOJ approval next week  (Read 16247 times)

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Late last month, we told you about the good news and bad news related to the $26.5 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. While FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had approved the deal and told other commissioners that they should vote in favor of it, the Justice Department had concerns. Both regulatory agencies looked at different aspects of the deal; the FCC examined the technical issues that could pop up from the transaction while the DOJ concerned itself with the loss of competition that such a deal might bring. The merger needs approval from both agencies to close, and the Justice Department was afraid that the drop from four to three major U.S. carriers would lead to higher prices.

The DOJ and its antitrust chief Makan Delrahim reportedly floated an idea last month. The agency would approve the merger under the condition that T-Mobile and Sprint help create a new carrier and that is apparently what will happen. The New York Times today said that the two wireless providers will sell off enough assets to help create a new competitor in the industry. The report cited three sources who are "familiar with the plan." The Justice Department wants the carriers to sell off one of its pre-paid units along with some of the wireless spectrum that both companies own. T-Mobile and Sprint have already agreed to sell Sprint's Boost Mobile unit to placate the FCC, and Amazon and a few other firms have already expressed interest in Boost. A company as big and rich as Amazon should have no problem making Boost a major competitor to Verizon, AT&T, and the New T-Mobile.

But as we said, other companies have expressed interest in buying Boost along with some spectrum from Sprint, and the Times says that both merger partners have spoken with companies like Dish Network, Charter and Altice. Dish, you might recall, was involved in a battle with Japan's SoftBank for control of Sprint back in 2013.


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