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US senators urge early T-Mobile-Sprint deal review

A group of U.S. Senate Democrats led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., are urging regulators to launch a review of a potential T-Mobile US Inc.-Sprint Corp. merger ahead of the companies' anticipated formal deal announcement.

In a letter addressed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division Makan Delrahim, the senators warned of significant antitrust issues, including potential harm to consumers in case both companies agree to a merger. Sen. Klobuchar is the member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.

"Beginning an investigation into a merger of T-Mobile and Sprint now will allow your agencies to quickly, but fully, review the agreement if it is announced," the senators said.

A potential deal could see T-Mobile's majority shareholder Deutsche Telekom AG taking a majority stake in the merged U.S. companies, while Sprint owner SoftBank Group Corp. will own about 40% to 50%.

The other signatories of the letter are senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.