Feb 11, 2020 - Technology

Reports: Judge set to approve T-Mobile's Sprint deal

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

Judge approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge allowed the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint to move forward in a Tuesday decision, ruling against a coalition of state attorneys general who fought against the deal.

Why it matters: The deal, announced back in April 2018, reduces the number of national carriers from four to three, but 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.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.

What they're saying: Judge blesses T-Mobile-Sprint deal

T-Mobile CEO John Legere (left) and Sprint Chairman Marcelo Claure testifying before Congress. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sprint and T-Mobile on Tuesday hailed a federal judge's ruling that should pave the way for their deal to be completed, while opponents worried that consumers will ultimately end up paying more.

Why it matters: The decision turns back a legal challenge from a coalition of state attorneys general that had been the largest remaining hurdle for the deal, though it still requires a few more approvals.