The Wall Street Journal is reporting that people familiar with the matter expect U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero to rule in favor of the planned T-Mobile/Sprint merger.
The third and fourth wireless carriers have been fighting to gain approval for a merger for months, with both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) supporting the merger. In spite of that, a coalition of states sued to prevent the merger, citing the belief that it would negatively impact the competitive landscape.
T-Mobile and Sprint have both argued the merger was necessary to take on larger rivals, Verizon and AT&T, and have insisted consumers would ultimately benefit. Especially as carriers work to roll out 5G networks, the combination of the third and fourth largest carriers would give the combined company the scale necessary to offer customers the best 5G experience.
There are also significant legal ramifications for the case. If the states prevail in their argument, it will give individual states unprecedented power to stop mergers—despite federal approval.
We will continue to provide updates as the story develops.