The Department of Justice approved the $26 billion merger of Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile U.S., the department said Friday.
The approval clears a major hurdle for the proposed deal between the two telecom giants.
“With this merger and accompanying divestiture, we are expanding output significantly by ensuring that large amounts of currently unused or underused spectrum are made available to American consumers in the form of high-quality 5G networks,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.
As part of its Justice Department agreement, both carriers will be required to sell assets including prepaid brand Boost Mobile to satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp.
Dish also will get the first crack at buying telephone towers that T-Mobile declares redundant, the Justice Department said.
Those conditions would make Dish a new, fourth wireless competitor, taking Sprint’s place in the marketplace.
“Today’s settlement will provide Dish with the assets and transitional services required to become a facilities-based mobile network operator that can provide a full range of mobile wireless services nationwide,” Mr. Delrahim said.
The Justice Department also announced that the attorneys general for five states opposing the deal reached a settlement. In June, the officials filed a lawsuit in a New York federal court to block the merger. They argued the deal will cost consumers more than $4.5 billion annually.
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at email@example.com.
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