US Department of Justice (DoJ) officials have informed T-Mobile US and Sprint Corp that they have concerns regarding the current structure of the companies’ proposed USD26 billion merger, sources familiar with the matter have told the Wall Street Journal. Among other things, DoJ officials have reportedly questioned the oft-repeated claims that the merger will create ‘important efficiencies.’ One of the sources added that state antitrust officials also have qualms about the merger. Indeed, a meeting between senior government antitrust division officials and advisers to the two mobile companies has been set for later this month. Some Democratic presidential hopefuls are expected to include strong antitrust enforcement messages in their pitches to voters, meaning that opposition to the merger could intensify as the 2020 election campaign heats up.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in April 2018 T-Mobile and Sprint entered into a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction. They seek to create a company which will be 41.7% owned by T-Mobile’s parent Deutsche Telekom (DT, which would have overall control) and 27.4% owned by Sprint parent SoftBank Group Corp, with the remaining 30.9% in free float.