- The Department of Justice on Friday agreed to clear T-Mobile‘s purchase of Sprint if the company sells some spectrum and wireless assets to Dish Network.
- Shares of both Sprintand T-Mobile surged on the news.
- The DOJ and five US states agreed on a settlement with the companies that would require them to divest Sprint’s prepaid phone businesses and wireless spectrum to Dish so it can build out a fourth US phone carrier.
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The Department of Justice on Friday approved T-Mobile‘s purchase of Sprint with certain conditions.
The DOJ and five states reached a settlement that would require the combined company to sell some wireless spectrum and Sprint’s prepaid phone businesses including Boost, Virgin, and Sprint Prepaid, to Dish Networks. These divestitures would establish Dish as a fourth wireless phone carrier.
Shares of T-Mobile were up by as much as 3.5% following the news, while Sprint gained 6.2%.
Executives from both companies have argued in the past that together, they could better compete against Verizon and AT&T. But critics of the deal have said it would stifle competition and lead to higher prices. The combined company would have a market value of more than $US100 billion.
“With this merger and accompanying divestiture, we are expanding output significantly by ensuring that large amounts of currently unused or underused spectrum are made available to American consumers in the form of high quality 5G networks,” said Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s antitrust division.
The agreement would also require T-Mobile and Sprint to provide 20,000 cell sites to Dish, and to let the company access the T-Mobile network for at least seven years to help it build out a 5G network.
The deal will still need to be cleared by a court, and 10 other states have also filed a lawsuit to block it.
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