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Charter never heard back from DOJ about buying T-Mobile and Sprint assets, report says

The acquisition plan was reportedly never responded to.

Charter Communications

Charter wanted Sprint's wireless assets.

Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Charter Communications, owner of cable brand Spectrum, apparently never heard back from the US Department of Justice after submitting a proposal to acquire Sprint and T-Mobile's wireless assets. Satellite TV provider Dish is believed to be the frontrunner in a $6 billion acquisition, with the deal rumored to be announced Wednesday or Thursday this week.

T-Mobile and Sprint are nearing a sale of assets expected to include the Boost Mobile prepaid wireless service and wireless spectrum in a move to gain regulatory approval for their $26.5 billion merger

Bloomberg had reported in May that the Justice Department spoke with Charter as well as Comcast about their interest in the acquisition; however, Reuters is now reporting Charter never heard back from the agency. It cited three sources.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai green-lighted the merger in May, on the condition that T-Mobile and Sprint divested Boost Mobile as well as requiring them to build out 5G in rural areas and offer wireless home broadband good enough to substitute fixed line service.

However, a May Bloomberg report said the DOJ wants T-Mobile and Sprint to form a new wireless carrier. The merger would reduce the number of major carriers from four to three, with Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim wanting four carriers to remain for more competition, according to Bloomberg.

Earlier this month, Fox Business Network's Charles Gasparino tweeted that Dish co-founder Charlie Ergen is "in the drivers seat on terms" with some still hoping that Charter will jump in and make a bid for the Sprint assets. 

Charter launched Spectrum Mobile a year ago. It declined to comment on the report.

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

First published at 1:50 p.m. PT on July 24.  
Updated at 3:21 p.m. PT: T-Mobile declined to comment

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