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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A judge is set to allow T-Mobile's purchase of Sprint to proceed, ruling against a suit by a coalition of state attorneys general, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The decision is expected to be announced tomorrow, the papers reported.

Why it matters: The move creates a much larger rival to AT&T and Verizon and was seen as vital for Sprint, which has continued to lose market share during the deal's long approval process.

The big picture: The states' lawsuit was by far the largest remaining hurdle to the long-pending deal, although California's Public Utilities Commission has yet to approve it.

Details: Under a settlement with the Justice Department, T-Mobile will sell off a number of prepaid assets and provide other services to Dish Network to allow it to become a national cellphone provider.

  • Shares of Sprint surged after reports of the deal, while T-Mobile's stock rose more modestly.
  • Both the Journal and the Times cautioned that the people they spoke to knew the deal was set to be approved, but not whether there would be any other conditions or stipulations.

A T-Mobile representative declined to comment. A Sprint representative was not immediately available for comment.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

2 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.