Reports in recent days have suggested that the Justice Department is close to giving its approval to T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger, and now another rumor has surfaced that suggests that the merger continues to progress.
Dish Network has reportedly agreed to a deal to buy assets from T-Mobile and Sprint. Sources speaking to Bloomberg say that Dish will pay $5 billion, consisting of $1.5 billion for prepaid businesses and $3.5 billion for spectrum. Dish is also getting a seven-year wholesale agreement that allows it to sell service using T-Mobile’s network, and T-Mobile will provide operational support for three years as prepaid customers move to Dish.
Finally, the agreement states that Dish can’t sell its assets or give control of the agreement to a third-party for three years.
Now that a deal has reportedly been agreed upon by T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish, it’s expected that the Justice Department will give the green light to T-Mo and Sprint’s merger. Today’s report says that Justice Department approval could come as soon as Thursday.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai came out in support of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger back in May after T-Mobile committed to selling Boost Mobile and to not raise prices for three years. Meanwhile, reports have said that Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim wants T-Mobile and Sprint to help create a fourth competitive U.S. carrier before he’ll approve the merger. It’s been expected that Dish would strike a deal to become that fourth carrier thanks to its existing collection of spectrum, but there’s been a lot of back and forth lately as T-Mobile and Sprint have been trying to work out a deal with Dish chairman Charlie Ergen.
Getting Justice Department approval would be major progress for T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger, but the deal is still facing a lawsuit from more than 10 state attorneys general who want to block the merger. They argue that the deal will harm competition and raise prices for consumers.