US merger hopefuls face further delay - Mobile World Live

US merger hopefuls face further delay

02 AUG 2019

T-Mobile US and Sprint faced a longer wait to close a planned merger after a court case to hear objections from a host of states was pushed back by two months.

The hearing of a lawsuit filed by the attorney generals of around a dozen US states and the District of Colombia was originally scheduled to begin on 7 October, but was postponed until 9 December to give the states time to digest the terms included in Department of Justice (DoJ) approval of the $26 billion merger, Reuters reported.

Specifically, the states will assess DoJ stipulations T-Mobile and Sprint divest assets to Dish Network. The latter this week defended its ability to establish a credible replacement fourth MNO in the country, with executives discussing plans for a 5G network during an earnings call.

The delay came as the state of Texas vied to join the legal action against the merger.

In a statement, attorney general Ken Paxton said he did not believe “the proposed new entrant will replace the competitive role of Sprint anytime soon”, adding he was obliged to act “to protect Texas consumers”.

“The bargain struck by the US DoJ is not in the best interest of working Texans, who need affordable mobile wireless telecommunication services that are fit to match the speed and technological innovation demands of Texas’ growing economy,” he said.

A decision on whether to allow Texas “and possibly other states” to join the lawsuit is due next week, the statement revealed. Reuters noted if Texas’ bid is approved, it will bring the total number of states involved in the action to 14.

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