The proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint got key approvals yesterday here in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security all gave approval for the merger as did Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This effectively means that only the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval is needed for the merger to happen. The FCC approval is expected to happen in early 2019.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security collectively make up what is commonly referred to as “Team Telecom”. Further, CFIUS was involved in the process as T-Mobile’s largest owner is Deutsche Telekom based in Germany. Sprint’s parent company SoftBank is located in Japan. Because foreign companies are involved, CFIUS had to be involved too.
“We are pleased to achieve both of these important milestones in the journey to build the New T-Mobile. We are a step closer to offering customers a supercharged disruptor that will create jobs from day one and deliver a real alternative to fixed broadband while delivering the first broad and deep nationwide 5G network for the United States,” said John Legere, Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile. “These approvals assure the strong partnership both companies have with the U.S. government will continue with the New T-Mobile. We look forward to continuing our discussions with the remaining regulatory agencies reviewing our transaction to share our story and subsequently achieve similar positive results.”
You can read the full announcement from T-Mobile on their site.
The merger of the number 3 and 4 carriers in the US has not gone without controversy. Many fear it will lead to lack of consumer options while others fear the impact it will have on telecom worker unions and other employees.