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Editor’s note: This is a developing story and will be updated.

In an exclusive, the Wall Street Journal reports a federal judge will give Sprint and T-Mobile US the long-awaited approval to merge. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” a decision in the antitrust case is “expected to be made public Tuesday,” according to the piece.

In after hours trading Monday, Sprint’s stock was up more than 50% on the news the $26.5 billion merger can go ahead. Given conditions previously attached to the deal, Sprint will get rid of its Boost Mobile band and divest other assets, including network infrastructure to DISH, which is positioned to become a fourth, nationwide, facilities-based wireless carrier per the terms of previous merger approvals.

In seeking approval for the mega-deal, executives from both carriers have touted the ability of the combined company to help America continue leading in 5G deployment. Sprint has used its 2.5 GHz spectrum to turn up 5G in nine markets while T-Mobile US has millimeter wave spectrum deployed in limited pockets but its 600 MHz network up and running nationwide.

From a spectral position, a combined company, set to be called the New T-Mobile, would have a valuable mix of low-, mid- and high-band frequencies. AT&T and Verizon are currently relying on their millimeter wave spectrum for commercial 5G services and are looking to dynamic spectrum sharing technology to extend 5G into lower frequency bands.

T-Mobile US reported fourth quarter financials last week. Referencing the court case, CEO John Legere said, “We’re waiting the judge verdict and we remain confident in a positive outcome. We firmly believe that the facts are on our side…We know we are going to win, we just don’t know when. … We are hoping it’s imminent.”

Legere is preparing to leave his CEO role at T-Mobile US. Mike Sievert, current COO, will take over as CEO. Japanese conglomerate Softbank is the majority shareholder of Sprint and Germany’s Deutsche Telecom is the primary shareholder of T-Mobile US.

The post Report: Approval for T-Mobile US, Sprint merger coming soon appeared first on RCR Wireless News.



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