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T-Mobile and Sprint merger deadline pushed pending approval by antitrust regulator

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T-Mobile and Sprint announced that their scheduled merger which was supposed to be completed this week has been pushed back to July 29, 2019. This is due to the fact that the chief of the Antitrust Division is still deciding whether to approve the merger or not. The filing was made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. The proposed merger was announced by T-Mobile and Sprint on April 29, 2018.

Speaking to CNBC, Maken Delrahim, chief of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Department said that he has not decided yet whether he will approve the $26 billion merger or not. He also said that his office is still investigating the proposed merger citing that they have requested more data from both companies. He further said that the Antitrust Division will issue a collective decision as soon as they have made the proper analysis of the proposal ensuring that all facts are carefully examined.

Delrahim told CNBC:

“I have not made up my mind…The investigation continues. We’ve requested some data from the companies that will be forthcoming. We don’t have a set number of meetings or a time line.”

Historically, mergers of big companies often encounter problems due to the fact that this may lead to higher costs for consumers. The FCC and Department of Justice previously disapproved a similar proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. T-Mobile and Sprint are currently the 3rd and 4th U.S. wireless providers.

The proponents of the proposed merger believe otherwise citing several advantages including faster 5G network, lower subscription prices as well as the creation of more job opportunities.

Almost a year after the proposal was submitted, it seems the antitrust regulators are still not convinced by the companies’ argument enough to approve the proposal. In fact, chief Delrahim said that the division has not set any timeline for the approval of the proposed merger.

Now, the question still remains, will T-Mobile and Sprint become one company and give competing wireless providers a run for their money? The answer remains to be seen. In the meantime, if you’re thinking of getting a new mobile subscription to any of the two companies, it would be best to hold it off for a few more weeks. Subscription models of both companies will surely change once the merger has been approved, or not.

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