The $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is reportedly one step closer thanks to a powerful nod of approval.
A federal judge will rule in favor of the marriage allowing the two telecom giants to combine, the Wall Street Journal reported. The decision could come as soon as Tuesday, but it’s unclear if the judge will require Sprint and T-Mobile to make additional concessions, the newspaper said.
News of the potential green light sent Sprint’s stock up a stunning 64% in premarket trading. T-Mobile shares also spiked 8% early Tuesday.
Sprint and T-Mobile were forced to battle for the merger’s approval in a Manhattan federal court in December because attorneys general from more than a dozen states sued to block the deal. They argue that approving the merger would make wireless service and prices worse for Americans.
To alleviate their concerns, Sprint and T-Mobile have proposed a deal with Dish Network, which would buy some wireless assets from the companies to create a new nationwide carrier. The companies hoped that would remedy the merger’s effects on the market. They also promised that prices wouldn’t rise and accelerate the rollout of new, ultra-fast 5G mobile network.
If the merger is ultimately successful, the combination would form a third national wireless behemoth about the size of Verizon and AT&T. (AT&T owns CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia.)
US District Court Judge Victor Marrero is presiding over the case.
The merger saga between T-Mobile and Sprint has been ongoing since April 2018 when the current deal was proposed. Federal regulators, including the US Department of Justice and the FCC, already approved the merger last year. The states were the final hurdle.