One key state opposing T-Mobile/Sprint merger is not backing down

One key state opposing T-Mobile/Sprint merger is not backing down
Although CEO John Legere already has one foot out the door and T-Mobile managed to obtain both the DOJ's and the FCC's formal approvals in recent months to annex Sprint and "supercharge the Un-carrier movement", one big hurdle continues to stand in the way of a $26.5 billion merger that's been a long time in the works.

We're talking about a lawsuit filed in New York federal court several months back by a group of state attorneys general from nine states and the District of Columbia. While Team Magenta did convince two state AGs to drop out of the legal action before the matter could be brought in front of a judge, a number of others joined the vocal crowd of merger challengers, making it pretty much impossible for T-Mo to settle everyone's concerns ahead of the start of the trial scheduled for December 9.

At first glance, you can't fault the "Un-carrier" for lack of trying to persuade its opposers, but according to New York Attorney General Letitia James, recent efforts to address fears of anti-competitive behavior on the "New T-Mobile's" part haven't done the trick. While James admits "providing benefits is good", the recently announced programs and initiatives do little to tackle the core issue with a prospective union between the nation's third and fourth-largest mobile network operators right now.

Specifically, the NY AG still doesn't like that the US wireless industry is headed for a transition from a "big four" to a "big three" situation, not buying promises made by Dish to essentially take Sprint's fourth place in a few years with the use of $5 billion worth of spectrum and existing prepaid businesses. Said promises have been enough to get the mega deal cleared by the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission, but states opposing the merger on antitrust violation grounds are not sold, even after T-Mobile also vowed to provide free 5G access to all first responders nationwide for at least ten years, as well as free service altogether to 10 million households.

Those "New T-Mobile Un-carrier 1.0" moves have already been deemed "marketing stunts" by AT&T, and although Letitia James didn't go as far as to echo that assessment, the group of state AGs she just so happens to be leading in its legal challenge remains unimpressed. Basically, this all but guarantees T-Mo's lawyers will see James in court in a few weeks.

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