In a ruling that goes against a state-led lawsuit that aimed to stop a deal that would reshape the wireless industry, T-Mobile US Inc. has received court approval for its Sprint Corp. takeover. The combined firm will have a base of approximately 80 million monthly subscribers, which would put it in the same arena as Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., Bloomberg reported.
The ruling occurred nearly two years following the first announcement of the arrangement. The suit was the last big hindrance to the deal after it received the go-ahead from the Justice Department’s antitrust division and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulators. However, it still requires approvals from a federal judge in Washington as well as the utility board of California.
After the combination, T-Mobile will have a greater scale than any other carrier. With higher capacity, the combined firm will have a leg up as the space moves to the significantly quicker 5G standard. T-Mobile and Sprint, however, had to sell multiple assets to Dish to create a new fourth rival in order to win federal approval, per the report.
Sprint’s stock, for its part, soared 66 percent, arriving at $7.95 in pre-market trading in New York following its $4.80 close on Monday (Feb. 10). T-Mobile brought its gains as high as 8.4 percent, to $91.88.
In December, news surfaced that a group of state attorneys were joining together to fight the potential merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. The reasoning of the state attorneys was that the combination would result in higher prices for customers.
The FCC and the Justice Department contend that blocking the deal would mean that rural customers, in particular, would be delayed in receiving 5G technology. They also said the deal with Dish would offer substantial relief.