T-Mobile predicts Sprint merger to close in early 2019

T-Mobile predicts Sprint merger to close in early 2019
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T-Mobile predicted that its $26 billion merger with Sprint could close as early as the first quarter of next year, despite significant opposition to the deal from consumer and labor groups.

The merger must win approval from both the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.

“The only remaining thing that is happening is depositions with the DOJ, which have started and will be completed in a few weeks,” J. Braxton Carter, T-Mobile’s chief financial officer, said at a conference in Barcelona, according to Reuters.

“At this point, it’s more pointing to the second quarter as more probable (but) it could still be first quarter,” Carter added.

The two companies tried to merge in 2014, when they approached the Obama administration about the idea of combining. But the top antitrust regulators at the Justice Department and the FCC quickly discouraged it.

This time around, the companies are hoping that they can sell the merger on the argument that it will help the U.S. deploy its next-generation wireless networks known as 5G.

“The combined assets of Sprint and T-Mobile can create 8 times the 5G capacity that either of us could do on a standalone basis and 15 times the speed,” Carter said.

The executive told the conference that the two firms have provided 25 million pages worth of data to the Justice Department and has held meetings with several agencies on the deal.