The colossal, industry-changing merger between US mobile providers T-Mobile and Sprint is running into significant resistance from regulators.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Department of Justice has warned both companies that their merger is unlikely to be approved as currently proposed.
Antitrust concerns are said to be at the top of the DOJ’s qualms with the deal: regulators are worried that the deal could harm wireless competition despite insistence from the two carriers that it would be a boost to job creation and network evolution.
The $26 billion deal already faces strong pushback from Democratic lawmakers, who recently urged against it in a letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai and staffers at the DOJ’s antitrust division — the very people who recently met with T-Mobile and Sprint to warn that the deal is far from a sure thing.
According to the Journal, “some state antitrust officials have expressed concerns similar to those from the Justice Department” and will mount a legal challenge to the deal if the DOJ doesn’t lead the charge itself.
T-Mobile and Sprint have spent months lobbying for the merger and insisting that it’s critical to make the US a leader as we enter the era of 5G — and to present much larger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT with more formidable competition.