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FCC and DOJ can agree on Sprint, T-Mobile merger




As for T-Mobile and Sprint, President Trump's top regulators can be more accurate than previously thought.

Before making this week's surprise, he announced that he supported the controversial $ 26 billion merger between the telecommunications giants, Ajit Pai, Federal Communications Commission leader, "consulted" with Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department of the Justice Department, said sources. The Post.

Details of the conversation between Pai and Delrahim could not be immediately learned. But the fact that the couple was talking in front of Pai's bombshell is a signal that Delrahim may be ready to persuade a DOJ employee's recommendation to block the deal, according to sources.

"I think it signals that the merger is going to happen," said David Scharf, deputy head of New York law firm Morrison Cohen, who Trump was once considered a senior DOJ position.

If Pai and Delrahim spoke before Pai's announcement, "This information confirms that DOJ feels it's a negotiable transaction," Scharf said.

Both the FCC and DOJ have to approve the bond, which would cut the number of players in the US telecom industry to three from four, with Verizon and AT & T ready to keep No. 1[ads1] and No. 2 respectively.

Critics have accused Delrahim of acting on the wishes of the Oval Office, for example, declaring DOJ's failed lawsuit to stop the AT&T Time Warner merger. Scharf notes that the White House is pleased with the concessions. T-Mobile has offered to receive FCC approval of the merger.

T-Mobile's main promise is to roll out 5G wireless service to 97 percent of the country within three years – a goal that should fit well with Trump's rural voters.

Consumer Forums regret that the agreement will destroy competition for US wireless customers, who are already paying significantly higher prices than consumers in Europe's more fragmented telecommunications sector. Proponents, including Pai, have cited the importance of an accelerated 5G rollout.

According to sources, DOJ employees have not experienced their opposition to the agreement, claiming that it is competitive. T-Mobile, meanwhile, has not offered any new concessions to regulators in recent months, according to a source close to the lectures.

This includes T-Mobile's agreement to sell Sprint's cheaper, prepaid wireless services Boost Mobile – a license that was revealed earlier this week.

Regardless, if DOJ enters a case to block the merger, it is finally Delrahim's decision.

It is still possible, sources said that Delrahim will extract extra concessions in exchange for his last OK. Especially his staff have been pushing to cover the overall company's wireless rates for as long as seven years instead of the three that were blessed by the FCC.

Delrahim has spoken out of favor for such "behavioral solutions", which would require legal oversight, instead favoring "structural" remedies that force the sale of assets. But the FCC's expected conditions with the conditions – including the 5G roll-out to the three-year prize – will relieve the DOJ of these enforcement obligations, instead leaving them with the FCC.

"It will be difficult for Makan to argue this will have a bad impact on the competition when the FCC enforces these conditions," a source working on T-Mobile and Sprint said. "DOJ will do this unconditionally."

Sprint shares in the morning trading were at $ 6.99. If the merger is approved, Sprint shareholders will receive $ 7.80.

A DOJ spokesman denied comment.



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