Earlier this week, we learned the Department of Justice’s antitrust chief is open to hearing T-Mobile and Sprint’s 5G arguments in favor of their merger, which was good news for those hoping that the deal gets approved. Now that’s being countered with some not-so-great news for the merger.
Several states are considering a lawsuit to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger on antitrust grounds, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg. New York and California are said to be leading a group of more than a dozen states that are examing T-Mo and Sprint’s deal and its effect on competition. The states have allegedly hired economists to help them in their review of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger.
T-Mobile and Sprint would control around 30 percent of the U.S. wireless market, but that number would be higher in some states, and that reportedly has some state officials concerned. It’s also said that some state officials are worried that political considerations could influence the Department of Justice’s decisions on mergers. The DOJ is conducting an antitrust review of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The states may decide to sue an try to block the merger, even if the DOJ approves it.
While the FCC has an informal 180-day shot clock on its review of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger — which is paused at day 121 — there’s no telling when the DOJ might make a decision on the deal. T-Mobile and Sprint have said that they expect their merger to be approved in the first half of the year, but recent reports have said that the DOJ’s formal decision on the deal could be months away.