T-Mobile/Sprint merger earns the support of another big state, but it's too little, too late

T-Mobile/Sprint merger earns the support of another big state, but it's too little, too late
T-Mobile's pompous "New Un-carrier 1.0" moves announced a couple of weeks ago may not have been enough to convince the Attorney General of New York to drop out of a lawsuit meant to challenge the contentious union between the nation's third and fourth-largest wireless service providers, but one major state opposing the mega deal since August is ready to accept the inevitable.

Just like Mississippi and Colorado, Texas has agreed to pull its support of the legal action filed in June by ten attorney generals from nine states and the District of Columbia on certain conditions. Namely, AG Ken Paxton wants the "New T-Mobile" to give all Texas customers access to "limited data rate plans" at a cost "far below what is currently offered in the industry", as well as keep prices in check for the "same or better" unlimited plans as right now for a period of at least five years.

Furthermore, if T-Mobile and Sprint will ultimately become one, the major new resulting force of the US wireless industry needs to provide strong 5G coverage across areas where "most Texans live", including many rural portions of the state, within the next three years, expanding that vastly improved network coverage "dramatically within the next six years." 

Last but certainly not least, current Sprint and T-Mobile employees based in Texas will have to maintain "substantially similar employment" agreements with the New T-Mobile for the state to not reconsider its already reconsidered decision and file another suit down the line.

While fairly stringent, these requirements are largely similar to what Team Magenta has already agreed with a number of other states, both from the original group of merger challengers and those that didn't initially express their support or opposition to the $26.5 billion deal. Then again, said group of "New T-Mobile" opposers still stands tall at 15 attorneys general from states including New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, Wisconsin, Oregon, Pennsylvania, as well as D.C.

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Unlike Ken Paxton, who is perhaps unsurprisingly a member of the Republican Party, all 15 aforementioned AGs are Democrats, and with only a couple of weeks left until the first trial date, it's pretty obvious winning over Texas will not be enough to seal the deal. It remains to be seen if said deal-sealing will happen by the time John Legere is scheduled to hand over the CEO baton to Mike Sievert, as T-Mobile and Sprint have both the DOJ's and FCC's approval to close their merger but don't plan to do so until this lawsuit is settled once and for all. One way or another.

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