FCC formally approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday formally confirmed its approval of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger along party lines, clearing the final hurdle for government approval.

While the approval was announced Oct. 16, the vote margin and order had been held until a final draft of the order could be compiled, according to a source familiar with the process.

The merger of the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless providers is still facing a roadblock as a group of 17 state attorneys general forge ahead in its lawsuit to block the deal.

All three Republican FCC commissioners approved the deal.

“The transaction will help secure United States leadership in 5G, close the digital divide in rural America, and enhance competition in the broadband market,” FCC Chairman Ajit PaiĀ said in a statement.

Both Democrats on the FCC, Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks, made clear last month that they were opposing the deal over concerns that it would come at a steep price to consumers.

“Based on my review of the record, I believe that T-Mobile and Sprint have failed to prove that their merger will benefit the public interest,” Starks said in a statement Tuesday.