Sprint, T-Mobile merger: DOJ reportedly in talks with states for support

Another hurdle to the merger is being faced.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
2 min read
T-Mobile Sprint

New York Attorney General Letitia James sued to block the Sprint/T-Mobile merger.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly in talks with states to gain their support for the Sprint merger with T-Mobile. The talks include attorneys general of states that didn't join the antitrust lawsuit to block the merger last month, The Wall Street Journal said citing sources.

Led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a group of 10 state attorneys general in June sued to block the two carriers from merging.

Also joining were attorneys general from Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Connecticut, Virginia and Wisconsin, who said the transaction would "deprive consumers of the benefits of competition and drive up prices for cellphone services." 

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. Satellite TV provider Dish is believed to be the frontrunner in the $6 billion asset acquisition, with the deal rumored to be announced this week.

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.

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

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