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US DOJ, FCC support T-Mobile/Sprint merger in court

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department's antitrust division said in a court filing that blocking the T-Mobile US Inc. merger with Sprint Corp. will harm consumers, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 20.

A multistate lawsuit by 13 state attorneys general plus Washington, D.C., alleges the deal would harm innovation and lead to higher prices for consumers.

However, the Dec. 20 court filing by the two federal regulators, which have already approved the deal with conditions, noted that blocking the deal would also stop the "substantial, long-term and pro-competitive benefits for American consumers," according to the Bloomberg story.

The federal regulators told U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero that rural customers would be especially harmed if the deal, which includes a nationwide 5G network with the New T-Mobile, is not implemented.

"The litigating states' lack of a nationwide interest is of special concern here because the challenged merger would combine two nationwide cellular networks that serve customers in every state," the filing noted.