T-Mobile, Sprint deal faces fresh uncertainty
T-Mobile and Sprint are facing growing uncertainty about the fate of their $26 billion merger a year after the deal was first announced.
On Monday, the anniversary of the proposal, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, who leads the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division, said that he’s still undecided about the merger.
“I have not made up my mind,” Delrahim told CNBC. “The investigation continues. We’ve requested some data from the companies that will be forthcoming. We don’t have a set number of meetings or, necessarily, a timeline.”
Delrahim’s comments come two weeks after The Wall Street Journal reported that his staff had major qualms with the merger. According to the Journal, DOJ staffers told the two companies that their tie-up is unlikely to be approved under the structure they had proposed.
T-Mobile pushed back on the report after it ran.
“The premise of this story, as summarized in the first paragraph, is simply untrue,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a tweet. “Out of respect for the process, we have no further comment. This continues to be our policy since we announced our merger last year.”
On Monday, though, the two companies, for the second time, postponed their deadline for completing the merger.
The deal has generated significant concern from public interest groups and many Democrats, and the delay of approval has given critics more time to fire away at the deal. Opponents worry about the prospect of further consolidating the wireless market from four national operators to three.