Friday, 26 April, 2019

DOJ reportedly unlikely to approve T-Mobile-Sprint merger as it’s structured

T-Mobile CEO John Legere T-Mobile CEO John Legere says the premise of the Wall Street Journal's story"is simply untrue. Getty Images
Emmett Howard | 17 April, 2019, 18:27

T-Mobile CEO John Legere says the premise of the Wall Street Journal's story "is simply untrue".

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the U.S. Department of Justice is unlikely to approve the planned merger between T-Mobile and Sprint as it's now structured.

The Journal said that Justice Department antitrust personnel, who are reviewing the takeover, questioned the companies' reasoning for it in a meeting this month.

Sprint and T-Mobiles argument for the merger is that the two carriers need each other to push forward with 5G and with Sprints accumulating debt, it needs T-Mobile so the carrier doesnt go bankrupt.

Sprint and T-Mobile declined to comment further when contacted by Ars. A number of state attorneys general are also reviewing the deal. The Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Sprint shares are down more than 9 percent in after-hours trading.

The DOJ could also approve the merger with conditions, but that would require agreement with T-Mobile and Sprint on what those conditions would be.

For the past four years, T-Mobile and Sprint have been trying to merge together. For example, T-Mobile claims that its 5G home internet service is only possible if it merges with Sprint. The report said the government and the companies are still talking.

It's said that T-Mobile could still turn things around by offering assets sales to alleviate the DOJ's concerns, but it's now unclear what the next steps are. There's also a possibility that DOJ leaders could override the agency's position on the merger.

"The different groups of government officials are operating on similar timelines and a final decision is still likely several weeks away", the Journal wrote.

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