A PYMNTS Company

Judge Is Said to Rule In Favor Of T-Mobile’s Sprint Merger

 |  February 10, 2020

A federal judge is expected to approve T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint, according to people familiar with the matter, clearing the way for the two wireless rivals to combine and overcoming a state antitrust challenge.

The decision, which these people said is expected to be made public Tuesday, would hand the carriers a victory over a group of state attorneys general who argued the merger could result in higher cellphone bills for customers.

The parties have been notified of the imminent ruling, the people said. It is unclear whether the ruling could require the parties to make additional concessions beyond what they already agreed to offer the federal government.

A decision by US District Judge Victor Marrero, after a December trial, would clear the way for a merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers by subscribers. The companies agreed to merge nearly two years ago in an all-stock deal worth $26 billion. They secured approval from federal antitrust and telecommunications officials last year after T-Mobile and Sprint made concessions.

Both companies have a contractual right to renegotiate their deal terms if the court clears their merger, and executives have discussed that possibility. T-Mobile’s operating chief Mike Sievert, who is slated to take over as chief executive in May, said last week the company doesn’t have an interest in creating a material delay.

The new T-Mobile will have more than 90 million US customers and aims to nab more subscribers from AT&T and Verizon Communications  The three companies will dominate the U.S. wireless market, though they must also compete with more newcomers, including cable companies that resell service from large carriers.