Texas Drops Challenge to T-Mo-Sprint Deal

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Texas is leaving a lawsuit challenging T-Mobile’s planned merger with Sprint. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Monday he’s reached a settlement with T-Mobile, under which the combined company will not raise Texans’ prices for wireless service for five years after the deal closes, reported the American-Statesman.

The Justice Department approved the merger in July, after the companies agreed to create a new wireless carrier by selling some assets to Dish Network. Paxton stated the settlement he reached with the carrier also, “commits the new T-Mobile to build out a 5G [wireless] network throughout Texas, including rural areas of our state, during the next six years.” 

But that may have happened anyway, because the earlier approval from the Justice Department includes provisions aimed at fostering a 5G build-out. 

In August, Paxton joined more than a dozen other states’ attorneys general in the lawsuit challenging T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint. He was the only Republican attorney general left in the opposing group. A trial date in the lawsuit is set for December 9.

Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said in a client note that although the number of states fighting the deal has dropped, the case will continue even if only one remains. “In our view, this issue has become quite political – particularly with only Democratic AGs remaining opposed to a settlement,” states Fritzsche. “As long as Democratic-led states like New York (leading the case) and California remain in the suit, it seems a settlement remains unlikely with each passing day, particularly with only nine business days (including Monday) before the trial is set to begin.”

November 26, 2019

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