Sprint, T-Mobile shares dive after WSJ casts doubt on deal

Sprint, T-Mobile shares dive after WSJ casts doubt on deal

T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted that the premise of the Journal's story, "as summarized in the first paragraph, is simply untrue".

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the U.S. Department of Justice is unlikely to approve the planned merger between T-Mobile and Sprint as it's now structured. Following extensive periods of review periods by regulators and a grueling hearing before a committee of US Representatives, a new report from The Wall Street Journal says the outcome isnt so bright.

The FCC also has regulatory oversight of the deal but has not made any waves yet. T-Mobile and Sprint are smaller players in a market led by Verizon and AT&T, but T-Mobile has surged in recent years by offering more customer-friendly deals than the two biggest carriers. Staffers in the department question the validity of those arguments and are concerned about removing a competitor from the wireless industry, according to the Journal.

Sprint and T-Mobile declined to comment further when contacted by Ars.

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The Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission must both approve the deal. The DOJ generally doesn't comment publicly on ongoing merger reviews.

Sprint and T-Mobile are in the final stages of a merger, nearing completion. For example, T-Mobile claims that its 5G home internet service is only possible if it merges with Sprint. There's a possibility that T-Mobile and Sprint will offer concessions to ease the government's worries. But the companies' own previous statements about their 5G plans contradicted those claims, and government officials don't appear to be impressed by the 5G argument.

At one point, Sprint shares fell more than 9 percent in after-hours trading.

The final decision is still several weeks away as per the report.

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