It's been a long road for T-Mobile and Sprint's merger attempt, but the companies continue to make progress to finalize the deal. After getting the green light from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, the companies announced today that the Federal District Court in New York has approved of the deal as well.
Justifying its decision, the Court praised T-Mobile's strategy over the past few years, which forced its competitors to respond with better deals for consumers:
"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. The proposed merger would allow the merged company to continue T-Mobile’s undeniably successful business strategy for the foreseeable future."
John Legere, who has set the merger as the final goal for his tenure as CEO of T-Mobile, will be stepping down soon after the deal is expected to be finished, passing the baton to Mike Sievert, who currently serves as President and COO of the company. Both expressed their happiness with T-Mobile and Sprint's win in court, and John Legere used his outspoken style to address its largest rivals, Verizon and AT&T, as well as the cable industry, promising to bring the fight to them:
"Today was a huge victory for this merger … and now we are FINALLY able to focus on the last steps to get this merger done! We want to thank the Court for its thorough review of the facts we presented in our case. We’ve said it all along: the New T-Mobile will be a supercharged Un-carrier that is great for consumers and great for competition. The broad and deep 5G network that only our combined companies will be able to bring to life is going to change wireless … and beyond. Look out Dumb and Dumber and Big Cable – we are coming for you … and you haven’t seen anything yet!"
Marcelo Claure, currently CEO of Sprint, also praised the decision, which validates the companies' view that the merger serves the best interest of the United States and American consumers. The merger aims to not only create a carrier capable of delivering a nationwide 5G network that also meets the demands of specific areas. T-Mobile is already using the 600MHz spectrum to provide 5G all around the U.S., and Sprint's mid-band spectrum can provide faster speeds in metro areas. T-Mobile is also slowly rolling out mmWave 5G in densely populated areas, covering the three key kinds of 5G networks we've seen so far.
The companies have also made a fair share of compromises to get the deal approved. Sprint will sell its prepaid phone business to Dish, who is best known for its presence in the cable TV market. T-Mobile has also made a series of commitments for when the merger is approved, including free 5G for first responders for 10 years, invest $10 billion in bringing free internet to children all around the U.S., and more.
With another approval in the bag, it's now up to the California Public Utilities Commission to decide the fate of the merger, as reported by Engadget. It's hard to imagine the deal will be stopped this late in the game, though.