On Monday, T-Mobile and Sprint scored a win in the efforts to make their merger a reality by getting the verbal approval of FCC chairman, Ajit Pai. However, getting DOJ approval was still uncertain. Today, Justice Department staff have recommended the deal be blocked.
Reported by CNBC, according to two sources familiar with the matter, staff at the Department of Justice’s antitrust division have recommended that a lawsuit be used to block the merger between the two carriers. The news comes just two days after the FCC’s chairman gave the recommendation to approve the deal before an official vote next month.
The DOJ’s stance is in line with expectations, as last month we heard a report from The WSJ that it would be unlikely for the Justice Department to approve the deal, at least without changes. One of the DOJ’s main concerns is that if merged, T-Mobile and Sprint won’t offer competitive pricing to lure consumers away from Verizon and AT&T as they have as individual companies.
An official decision from the DOJ is expected to arrive sometime next month. Time will tell if T-Mobile and Sprint will be able to do anything in the coming weeks to dissuade the agency’s concerns and gain approval.