T-Mobile and Sprint still haven't sealed the deal on a possible merger, though not for a lack of trying — approval from government regulators is the last major hurdle. T-Mobile has already promised not to raise prices for a few years if the deal is approved, but the U.S. Justice Department reportedly still isn't on board. Supposedly, the Justice Department wants the combined T-Mobile/Sprint to create a new fourth carrier, with its own dedicated network.

According to Bloomberg, top Justice Department officials want T-Mobile and Sprint to create a full-fledged national carrier to get approval for the merger. The new carrier wouldn't be an MVNO that rents T-Mobile's network, either; it would be its own independent network with its own infrastructure. In other words, a new competitor would be created to fill Sprint's current role.

The new carrier would solve the Justice Department's main complaint with the merger that it would reduce the number of major carriers in the U.S to just three —but T-Mobile and Sprint might not accept it. After all, the new competitor could hurt the merged carrier's future profits.