The proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint is facing a lawsuit from 13 states and the District of Columbia, and the trial between the two sides was set to begin on October 7th. Now the state attorneys general have asked for that date to be pushed back.
Glenn Pomerantz, an attorney for the state AGs, sent a letter to Judge Victor Marrero this week seeking a delay in the October 7th trial date because the states haven’t received the documents on a settlement between the Justice Department, T-Mobile, and Sprint that they were promised. The documents were supposed to be delivered to the state AGs by June 28th, but the Justice Department, T-Mo, and Sprint haven’t reached a deal yet, so there are no settlement documents to give to the state AGs.
“Although it is very unlikely that any settlement between Defendants and USDOJ could prevent the anticompetitive injury that the proposed merger will cause, there is no doubt that the settlement would dramatically change the nature of the evidence needed for trial,” Pomerantz said.
Pomerantz went on to say that the plaintiff states in the case are talking with T-Mobile and Sprint regarding an appropriate trial date and pre-trial schedule.
The state attorneys general are suing to block T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger, arguing that the deal will reduce competition, increase prices, and harm jobs. T-Mobile and Sprint told the court last month that they would wait to close their merger until after the lawsuit is completed. Whatever deal that T-Mo and Sprint end up reaching with the DOJ could change how they defend their merger in court, and so the states will want to delay the trial until an agreement is reached so that they know what they’re going up against.
Rumors have said that Dish Network will buy assets from T-Mobile and Sprint, including Boost Mobile and spectrum. However, T-Mo, Sprint, and Dish are still trying to work out the details of their deal. One aspect that’s still reportedly being discussed is that T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom doesn’t want Dish to sell a large part of its new network to another technology company. As a result of these ongoing talks, it’s expected that T-Mobile and Sprint will extend their merger deadline beyond its current July 29th date.