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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint have closed their merger, the newly combined companies announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The deal — initiated nearly two years ago — brings together the nation's No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers under the T-Mobile name. Critics have said that the combination will reduce competition, even with concessions the companies made to win Justice Department approval.

Details: The combined entity will use the T-Mobile name and trade under the TMUS ticker. T-Mobile shares were up modestly as markets opened Wednesday.

  • T-Mobile CEO John Legere is also ceding his role to COO Mike Sievert a month early, the company said. That transition, originally slated for May 1, is effective immediately.
  • Legere, who led a turnaround characterized by aggressive subscriber growth and unconventional service offerings since taking the reins in 2012, will stay on the T-Mobile board through June.

Background: The largest obstacles were removed when T-Mobile reached a deal with the Justice Department and a federal court blocked a legal challenge from a number of states. The companies said in the wake of the court ruling that they aimed to close the deal as soon as April 1.

  • As part of the Justice Department deal, T-Mobile agreed to divest certain prepaid assets to Dish Network and to provide network access and other components designed to allow Dish to become a fourth national wireless provider.
  • T-Mobile also agreed to various conditions with several states, including agreements to maintain certain rate plans and staffing levels.
  • Sprint and T-Mobile were still awaiting formal approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, but on Wednesday they filed paperwork to withdraw part of the application — the wireline business over which the commission has clear jurisdiction. The real competition concerns, though, are over the wireless business, regulation of which is largely done at the federal level.

Of note: A number of banks that had agreed to provide $23 billion in financing (with hopes of offloading some of the risk as debt to investors) are now fully on the hook amid changes in the markets due to the coronavirus.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
27 mins ago - Health

Who benefits from Biden's move to reopen ACA enrollment

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Nearly 15 million Americans who are currently uninsured are eligible for coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than half of them would qualify for subsidies, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation brief.

Why it matters: President Biden is expected to announce today that he'll be reopening the marketplaces for a special enrollment period, but getting a significant number of people to sign up for coverage will likely require targeted outreach.

1 hour ago - Technology

Big Tech bolts politics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Big Tech fed politics. Then it bled politics. Now it wants to be dead to politics. 

Why it matters: The social platforms that profited massively on politics and free speech suddenly want a way out — or at least a way to hide until the heat cools. 

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

GameStop as a metaphor

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A half-forgotten and unprofitable videogame retailer is, bizarrely and incredibly, on the lips of the nation. That's because the GameStop story touches on economic and cultural forces that affect everyone, whether they own a single share of stock or not.

Why it matters: In most Wall Street fights, the broader public doesn't have a rooting interest. This one — where a group of small traders won a multi-billion-dollar bet against giant hedge funds by buying stock in GameStop — is different.