State attorneys general sue to stop T-Mobile-Sprint merger (Update: Filed)

Update, June 11, 2019 (04:45 PM ET): It looks like the sources speaking to Reuters were correct, as today 10 attorneys general filed a lawsuit in an effort to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger (via The Verge). New York Attorney General Letitia James is the lead on the suit.

In the suit, which you can read here, James and her fellow attorneys general say, “because the effect of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint may be substantially to lessen competition, the Court should permanently enjoin the merger,” where enjoin is a legal term meaning “prohibit someone from performing.”

Along with James, nine other attorneys general attached themselves to the suit from states including California, Connecticut, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Original article, June 11, 2019 (11:26 AM ET): According to Reuters, there’s a new problem brewing for the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger. According to three anonymous sources, at least 10 state attorneys general plan to file a lawsuit to stop the deal, which is worth an estimated $26 billion.

The lawsuit could be filed as soon as Tuesday, with the lead attorney general planning a press conference for today. The lawsuit would be filed in New York, which is where the lead attorney general is located.

According to Reuters’ sources, both Marcelo Claure from Sprint and John Legere from T-Mobile met with the Justice Department yesterday in Washington. It’s not clear what those talks entailed or if they had an effect on this anticipated lawsuit.

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We do know that both companies have offered multiple concessions to get the T-Mobile-Sprint deal off the ground, including selling off Sprint-owned Boost Mobile, divesting wireless spectrum, and promising to keep prices from rising for at least a few years.

The Federal Communications Commission has already publicly supported the deal, which would turn the Big Four carriers in the United States to the Big Three. The other two carriers — Verizon and AT&T — are both significantly larger than either T-Mobile or Sprint. The T-Mobile-Sprint merger would result in a company still smaller than the second-largest carrier AT&T.

The Justice Department’s antitrust division staff have recommended the agency step in to block the deal. However, the DOJ has yet to make a final decision on the matter.

This is a developing story and we will update it if new information comes to light from the planned press conference later today.

NEXT: T-Mobile Sprint merger: Everything you need to know

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