Last week, a report explained that while the FCC orally approved T-Mobile's proposed merger with Sprint, the Justice Department is ready to block the deal. Now, Bloomberg reports that senior officials of the Justice Department want T-Mobile and Sprint to "lay the foundation" for a fourth operator as part of the deal.
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T-Mobile's merger with Sprint would reduce the number of major US carriers from four to three. The two airlines have argued that by merging, they would create a stronger competitor for AT&T and Verizon, the two largest US suppliers.
However, according to T-Mobile and Sprint, officials in the top justice departments will use their own network to create a fourth mobile operator. The requirement would allegedly be a condition for DOJ approval of the proposed merger.
The officials' top justice departments want T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp to lay the groundwork for a new wireless operator – with its own network – as a condition for clearing their $ 26.5 billion mergers, according to a person known with the case.
The two companies have been thinking of further concessions that can help win the Ministry of Justice's approval for their deal, according to people with knowledge of the discussions, who did not ask to be identified because the talks are private.
Despite questions about the Ministry of Justice's approval, discussions between carriers and regulators have been "productive", according to today's report. T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint's Marcelo Claure met antitrust officials last week and were again seen outside DOJ's headquarters today.
A report last week claimed that the Department of Justice officials reccomened that the Sprint-T-Mobile merger was blocked. This report came two days after the FCC chairman Ajit Pai gave oral agreement to the agreement.
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