The U.S. Department of Justice this morning gave the green light to T-Mobile US and Sprint for their proposed $26 billion merger. The deal, which would combine the nation’s third and fourth largest carriers (by subscriber number) has been greenlit on the condition that Sprint sell its prepaid assets (including Boost Mobile) to Dish Network.
As part of the deal, some nine million prepaid subscribers will move over to Dish, which will also have access to T-Mobile/Sprint’s network for a period of seven years.
The proposed merger has been under regulatory scrutiny for some time now, as the deal will leave three major wireless carriers accounting for more than 95 percent of U.S. mobile phone customers. Last month, a group of attorneys general led by New York and California sued to block deal over concerns that limiting competition would ultimate drive up prices for consumers.
A spokesperson for California’s AG tells TechCrunch that the office is currently reviewing the settlement.
Proponents of the deal, meanwhile, have argued that the merger will actually make a combine T-Mobile/Sprint more competitive with category leaders Verizon and AT&T. “With this merger and accompanying divestiture, we are expanding output significantly by ensuring large amounts of currently unused or underused spectrum are made available to American consumers in the form of high quality 5G networks,” DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim told The Wall Street Journal.