T-Mobile acquisition of Sprint given go-ahead with no more strings attached

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Federal Judge Victor Marrero cleared the way for the $59 billion transaction without imposing any further conditions.

He overturned legal challenges brought by a group of Democratic-led states which claimed the acquisition would ultimately results in less competition and higher prices.

Many had expected the acquisition to be blocked or at least further anti-trust remedies to be imposed.

The judge wrote, “The proposed merger would allow the merged company to continue T-Mobile’s undeniably successful business strategy for the foreseeable future”.

Two years later

The deal to combine the US’ third and fourth mobile operators was agreed in principle two years ago, but has faced a series of hurdles.

John Legere (pictured), T-Mobile’s outgoing CEO, argued that the deal was the only viable way for T-Mobile to compete with the largest US telcos, AT&T and Verizon.

Without the merger, Sprint’s future was looking increasingly uncertain, with some pundits saying it would a capital injection of up to $10 billion to survive.

The Attorneys-general for California and New York led the lawsuit and could still appeal.

A critical factor in the judgement appears to have been the agreement by both Sprint and T-Mobile to divest assets to Dish, to meet demands from the Department of Justice and the telecoms regulator, the Federal Communications Commission.