A federal government committee and other top regulators in the United States have approved the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, paving the way for a union between the country's third and fourth largest wireless operators.
The Foreign Investment Committee in the United States – a unit assessing foreign investment in the US for national security threats – Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense agreed on a $ 26.5 billion deal, T-Mobile
Some Investors, Crime Representatives and government officials opposed the merger and argued that the new telecommunications giant would limit customer choice and lead to high prices for consumers.
The combination will still be required to secure the approval of the Federal Communications Commission, as has undergone a possible T-Mobile Sprint merger before. In 2014, regulators at F.C.C. rejected a proposed merger and concluded that effective reduction of the US wireless market to three major carriers from four would not be good for consumers.
The agreement remains subject to other regulatory approvals. If the two companies receive these approvals, the agreement is expected to close during the first half of 2019, according to T-Mobile.
Earlier, US regulators have rejected attempts at mergers in the telecommunications industry, such as AT & Ts's proposal of $ 39 billion to buy T-Mobile in 2011, on the grounds that more competitors are better for consumers because they result in lower prices and superior services.
The T-Mobile-Sprint Agreement has also raised national security issues from some legislators. They mention a company that is not involved in the agreement: Huawei, the Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment.
US officials have long noted Huawei as a national security threat. The major telecom companies in the United States, including Sprint and T-Mobile, have avoided using the company's equipment to operate their networks.
The two companies' business parents are still Huawei customers. Sprint is controlled by SoftBank in Japan, while T-Mobile is controlled by its German parent, Deutsche Telekom.
However, your ties to Huawei may change. The timing of approval comes as Deutsche Telekom weighs a review of its procurement strategy after the ongoing controversy around Huawei. Deutsche Telekom said it took serious consideration of "global discussion about the safety of networking features from Chinese manufacturers."
In Japan, government officials have said that they are developing procurement procedures in areas such as communications networks and information technology with an eye on Cybersecurity. Public officials have denied that the guidelines would rule out Chinese companies like Huawei.
"This does not mean that certain companies are to be excluded," said Yoshihide Suga, Japanese secretary of secretary, last week. "It's extremely important not to get equipment that is built with malicious features."
Takatoshi Mori, a spokesperson for SoftBank, said that SoftBank also reassessed the relationship with Huawei "is based on speculation." But he added, We will review our future guidelines while complying with government policies, "and said that it gets the majority of networking equipment from European suppliers.
Western governments, including the United States, are concerned that Huawei's systems may be susceptible to spy by the Chinese government. Australia and New Zealand have both banned Huawei equipment from planned 5G networks in these countries. A top leader from Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, is waiting for extradition to the United States from Canada, in a case like has inflamed tensions between China and the United States.