Antitrust regulator hasn’t decided whether to approve T-Mobile and Sprint merger

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Date for completing the deal has been pushed back three months.
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile and Sprint have pushed back the date for completing their proposed controversial merger to July 29. The reason? Because the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division chief says that he has not yet decided whether or not to approve the deal.

Previously, the deal was supposed to be completed this week. If it takes place, it will combine the no. 3 and no. 4 wireless providers in the United States.

The filing to push back the date was made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

“I have not made up my mind,” Makan Delrahim, head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, told CNBC. “The investigation continues. We’ve requested some data from the companies that will be forthcoming. We don’t have a set number of meetings or a time line.”

“If the case is there for us to challenge a transaction or suggest changes, we will do that,” he continued.

A controversial proposal

The proposed deal was first announced in mid-2018. The idea is that the combined company would be run by John Legere, T-Mobile’s current CEO. If it goes through, proponents of the deal say that it would have several advantages for customers. This would include faster 5G deployment, lower prices, and more jobs created.

However, these kind of mega-mergers are often criticized because they can lead to higher costs for consumers. Earlier in the decade, an attempt by AT&T to buy T-Mobile was blocked by the FCC and Department of Justice. The same thing could conceivably happen here.

From the sound of things, we’ve got three more months to wait to find out!

Source: Reuters