Following the recent news that Dish was willing to pick up some leftover spectrum and superfluous prepaid businesses, the US Department of Justice has just announced its support for the long-awaited $26 billion merger that will join T-Mobile and Sprint into a single carrier. Objections raised by the Attorneys General for five states — previously expected to cause additional delays for the merger — have also been settled.
Among the terms of the deal are requirements that Sprint and T-Mobile sell Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint pre-paid divisions together with some of Sprint's 800 MHz spectrum to Dish Network. Furthermore, "T-Mobile and Sprint must make available to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations," as well as access to the new combined network for at least seven years, plus help to transition away in three years which follow.
Several US states had previously raised objections for the merger. Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota are now reportedly willing to proceed with the merger based on the above terms, though other states which have also started their legal own actions against the merger (including New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Virginia, and Wisconsin) don't appear to be satisfied with the settlement terms reached by the DoJ.
T-Mobile and Sprint are clearly excited for the news, but it remains to be seen how consumers may ultimately be affected by the reduced competition in the market.
- US Department of Justice