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.

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