Judge approves T-Mobile, Sprint merger

A district judge on Tuesday approved the $26.5 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, clearing the final hurdle for two of the largest telecom companies in the U.S. to combine despite a challenge from a group of state attorneys general.

The lawsuit from the coalition of 15 attorneys general was the last obstacle standing in the way of the lucrative deal, which has already received the green light from federal regulators.

Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, a Clinton appointee, wrote that the proposed merger between two of the four major telecom companies in the U.S. is not “reasonably likely to substantially lessen competition,” striking down the states’ central argument.

The states had argued that the merger could harm competition in the telecom marketplace and potentially raise prices for the new company’s hundreds of millions of subscribers.

Marrero said he didn’t see evidence leading him to block the merger in “this particularly dynamic and changing industry.”