The U.S. mobile landscape is on track to look a whole lot different. A hotly contested $26 billion deal between T-Mobile and Sprint just got the go ahead from a U.S. district court judge. The merger would combine the country’s third and fourth largest mobile carriers, effectively reducing the number of key carriers from four down to three.
Critics of the deal, including attorneys general from more than one dozen states, have expressed concern that such a deal would diminish competition in the market. T-Mobile and Sprint, on the other hand, have argued that such a deal would actually make the market more competitive and give a combined company a better chance of battling with (TechCrunch parent company) Verizon and AT&T on the 5G front.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, it seems, sided with the latter. He lauded T-Mobile’s business practices in a statement. “T-Mobile has redefined itself over the past decade as a maverick that has spurred the two largest players in its industry to make numerous pro-consumer changes,” Judge Marrero wrote.
The deal has already cleared a number of key hurdles, including Justice Department approval. Involved states, however, are considering an appeal. “From the start, this merger has been about massive corporate profits over all else, and despite the companies’ false claims, this deal will endanger wireless subscribers where it hurts most: their wallets,” NY Attorney General Attorney Letitia James said in a statement.