Judge Approves Sprint-T-Mobile merger
A federal judge has approved the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.
Arriana McLymore and Diane Bartz had the news for Reuters:
T-Mobile US Inc edged closer to a takeover of Sprint Corp after a federal judge on Tuesday approved the deal, rejecting a claim by a group of states that said the proposed transaction would violate antitrust laws and raise prices.
During a two-week trial in December, T-Mobile and Sprint argued the merger will better equip the new company to compete with top players Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc as the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, creating a more efficient company with low prices and faster internet speeds.
Shares of T-Mobile rose 11% to $94.01 while Sprint soared more than 74% to $8.34.
Finalizing a deal will be a boon to Japan’s Softbank Group Corp, Sprint’s controlling shareholder, as the conglomerate offloads a troubled asset that has lost subscribers at a faster rate and as it seeks to secure funding for a second Vision Fund.
During the trial, Sprint executives argued that the deal was a matter of survival.
Uniting T-Mobile’s low-band spectrum and Sprint’s mid-band spectrum could allow a faster roll-out of a national 5G network, the companies have said.
Sprint and T-Mobile said in a statement that they would move to finalize the merger, which is still subject to closing conditions and possible additional court proceedings.
Sherisse Pham from CNN reported:
A massive bet on Sprint is finally paying off for Masayoshi Son.
Shares in his company SoftBank (SFTBF) rallied on Wednesday, after a US court approved the $26 billion merger between T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S), the carrier SoftBank acquired nearly a decade ago.
SoftBank stock closed up nearly 12% ahead of its quarterly earnings Wednesday in Tokyo.
“All necessary federal approvals required for the [merger] to close have been obtained,” SoftBank said in a press release Wednesday.
Getting this deal across the finish line is a much needed win for Son, who has been grappling with a string of high profile losses tied to his $100 billion Vision Fund. In November, the fund reported a $9 billion hit because of the WeWork bailout and losses in investments such as Uber (UBER) and Slack (WORK).
The company reported after trading hours Wednesday that profits have been almost entirely wiped out as it continues to feel the pain from big losses in its massive tech fund.
Mae Anderson and Tali Arbel explained the implications for the AP:
T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint could mean higher or lower phone bills, depending on whom you ask.
A federal judge in New York ultimately took T-Mobile’s track record of aggressive competition into account in ruling Tuesday that the deal would be good for consumers. In doing so, he rejected a challenge by a group of states worried about reduced competition. Though the deal still needs a few more approvals, T-Mobile expects to close it as early as April 1.
Here’s what a combined T-Mobile-Sprint company could mean for you and your phone bill:
FOR MOST T-MOBILE AND SPRINT CUSTOMERS
Sprint customers will get a T-Mobile bill, but that transition may take a few years. If you are a T-Mobile customer, you might not see many changes. However, because the goal of the takeover is to roll out a next-generation, 5G cellular network, subscribers of both are ultimately expected to get faster service.
WHAT ABOUT PREPAID CUSTOMERS?
As part of the deal, Dish will get Sprint’s prepaid Boost Mobile customers. Dish has committed to building its own cellular network, but it will use T-Mobile’s for now, so customers aren’t supposed to see service quality drop.
HOW STRONG IS DISH?
That has yet to be tested.
Sprint is an existing company with more than 40 million customers. Dish would start from scratch building a network that will cost billions of dollars. It gets only 9 million customers from the deal and will have to fight to win more.