What you need to know
- The FCC voted to approve the T-Mobile and Sprint merger on October 16, 2019.
- FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has previously expressed his approval of the merger.
- Even so, the companies can't fully merge until it closes an ongoing lawsuit.
Back in 2018, T-Mobile and Sprint made the historic announcement that the two companies were looking to merge with one another to form a single, new carrier in the form of "The New T-Mobile." Over a year later on October 16, 2019, the merger has finally been approved by the FCC.
The news broke courtesy of The Verge, with the publication saying:
On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission formally approved the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, an FCC official told The Verge. The vote comes months after the Justice Department green-lighted the deal.
This announcement comes a few months after the Department of Justice granted approval of the merger, and as part of that, Sprint agreed to sell its prepaid business model to Dish for $1.4 billion — including the Boost and Virgin brands.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has previously expressed his approval of T-Mobile and Sprint joining forces, so this latest development in the merger saga isn't all that surprising. Furthermore, it's worth noting that T-Mobile and Sprint still have one more roadblock to get across before the deal can finally be closed.
In June of this year, a multi-state lawsuit was opened to block the merger from going through. The lawsuit is being led by Attorney General Letitia James from New York, with the main point of contention being that the merger would result in "irreparable harm to mobile subscribers nationwide by cutting access to affordable, reliable wireless service for millions of Americans."
T-Mobile and Sprint can't call things a day until the lawsuit is shut down, so now it's a matter of wait and see for what happens on that front.