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Another state joins the fight to block T-Mobile's Sprint merger

Illinois is joining 16 other attorneys general in their lawsuit to block the carriers from combining forces.

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Illinois is joining 15 states and DC in their lawsuit to block Sprint and T-Mobile from merging.

Angela Lang/CNET

Yet another state has jumped aboard the opposition to T-Mobile and Sprint merging. Illinois has joined the lawsuit blocking the wireless carriers' deal, New York Attorney General Letitia James said Tuesday. The state attorneys general are calling it an "anticompetitive megamerger." Illinois' addition means over half the US population is now represented in the suit, James said. 

The US Justice Department approved T-Mobile's $26.5 billion bid to merge with Sprint in July after the deal was OK'd by the Federal Communications Commission in May. T-Mobile said previously that it wouldn't proceed with closing the deal until it settles the concerns of the state attorneys general.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said the merger would "significantly decrease competition for mobile wireless telecommunications services."

"With fewer companies competing, customers would face fewer choices, higher prices, less innovation and lower-quality service," Raoul said.

The lawsuit includes the attorneys general of New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, Oregon and the District of Columbia. 

The Department of Justice is reportedly in talks with the states to gain their support.

T-Mobile didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Sprint declined to comment.

First published at 11:46 a.m. PT on Sept. 3.
Updated at 2:34 p.m.: Sprint declined to comment

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