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Sprint, T-Mobile win US antitrust approval for $ 26 b merge


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WASHINGTON (Reuters): T-Mobile US Inc. won US antitrust approval for its $ 26 billion takeover of rival Sprint Corp, the Justice Department said Friday, clearing a major hurdle to a deal that merges the nation’s third and fourth largest wireless carriers.

The companies have agreed to divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, to satellite television firm Dish Network Corp to create a fourth US wireless carrier. The Justice Department indicated the deal would improve competition and the rollout of faster 5G networks by combining weaker players and creating a strong, new number four, in Dish, that has unused spectrum, which can be activated. Critics, including some state attorneys general, say competition won’t increase and prices for mobile phone plans will rise. The deal is a clear success for T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere, who will be the CEO of the combined company and who pushed back at critics arguing a more concentrated market would lead to higher prices.

“It’s a bit dumbfounding to think that we’ve decided to go and build this network and go through this merger so that we can become the basic, lazy, fat, dumb and arrogant players that we were born to teach how to behave,” he told analysts in a conference call.

 


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