T-Mobile and Sprint formally announced their plans to merge into a single company, referred to as New T-Mobile, last year, but the deal is taking some time to go through. A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that the Department of Justice had some concerns in regards to the deal, and that it might not be feasible in its current form.
Now, as reported by Reuters, the third and fourth largest carriers in the United States have extended the deadline for regulatory approval, which was set to end today. The decision comes as Makan Delrahim, head of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, said in an interview with CNBC that a decision hasn't yet been made and that the review process isn't done:
I have not made up my mind (...). The investigation continues. We’ve requested some data from the companies that will be forthcoming. We don’t have a set number of meetings or a time line.
Since first announcing the merger plans, T-Mobile has tried to sway officials by touting the increased scalability of the 5G network that would result from the merger. Earlier this year, the company began trialing a fixed wireless broadband service for rural areas, which served as a way to suggest that the service will start using 5G networks and expand across the United States much more quickly if the merger is approved.
These promises, however, don't seem to have been enough so far. With today's three-month extension, T-Mobile and Sprint now have until July 29 to convince regulatory entities that the deal will be beneficial to the market.