It’s been a long time coming, but the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is finally expected to receive approval as soon as Tuesday. Citing three people familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports that the judge presiding over the case against the merger is expected to rule in favor of the deal.
Attorneys general from 13 states and the District of Columbia filed a suit to challenge the merger between the two carriers last June. The states argued that a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would reduce competition and lead to higher prices for customers. Judge Victor Marrero of United States District Court in Manhattan presided over the case.
The New York Times reports that it’s possible the decision from Judge Marrero includes “conditions or restrictions,” but both T-Mobile and Sprint are “planning to make announcements on Tuesday.”
As the report points out, this lawsuit was the final roadblock to the merger. The deal received approval from the Justice Department last summer and from the FCC in October.
The lawsuit was the final roadblock to the merger, which has made steady progress through the approval process since it was announced in April 2018. If the judge’s ruling goes in favor of the two companies, the deal will create a supersize telecommunications company, called T-Mobile, that will have more than 100 million customers.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere has promised that “New T-Mobile” prices will be the “same or better” for at least three years following the Sprint merger. The concern among the state attorneys general is that the deal will lead to higher prices, which would have a particular impact on lower-income individuals. Sprint and T-Mobile are generally the two more affordable carriers compared to Verizon and AT&T.
We should learn more as soon as tomorrow, when Sprint and T-Mobile are expected to make official announcements.