T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. expect their merger to get U.S. security clearance as early as next week, after parent companies of both carriers agreed to consider curbing their use of equipment from China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Reuters reported.
People familiar with the matter told Reuters that U.S. officials have been pressuring T-Mobile's majority owner, Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, to stop using Huawei equipment amid rising security concerns about "back doors" that would enable espionage by China.
Sprint's parent, Japan's SoftBank Group Corp., is already planning a shift from Huawei devices. Huawei, however, says the security concerns are unfounded.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. has been conducting a national security review of the Sprint/T-Mobile deal. Talks between the two companies and the U.S. government have not been finalized, and any deal could still fall through, the sources reportedly said.