T-Mobile and Sprint may have negotiated a deal with the Justice Department

The latest news regarding the T-Mobile-Sprint merger (via The New York Times) suggests a deal could be imminent between the nation’s third- and fourth-largest carriers and the United States Department of Justice.

Last we heard, the DOJ was making quite ridiculous demands of the two wireless carriers in order to approve the merger and DOJ staff were recommending to block the deal. However, some negotiations must have occurred as now we have a rumor that the proposed merger could receive DOJ approval as soon as next week.

The aforementioned demands — including that T-Mobile and Sprint create a fourth competitor before they merge — appear to have been toned down some. Now, according to people familiar with the matter, T-Mobile and Sprint would need to sell off Boost Mobile as well as some wireless spectrum.

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If another company were to buy Boost Mobile as well as this spectrum, it could create a new carrier that would be much smaller than either T-Mobile or Sprint right now and certainly smaller than the two companies combined. However, this would apparently appease the DOJ’s demand for creating a fourth carrier.

For what it’s worth, Amazon reportedly expressed interest in buying Boost Mobile. Reportedly, T-Mobile and Sprint have approached other potential buyers, including Dish Network, Charter, and Altice.

If the DOJ does approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, it would dampen the efforts of 10 attorneys general who recently filed a lawsuit to block the deal. With the FCC already on board and the DOJ supposedly close to joining it, that lawsuit could lose its legs.

If the T-Mobile-Sprint merger is approved, there would be three major wireless carriers in the United States: Verizon, AT&T, and the new T-Mobile, in descending order from largest to smallest.

NEXT: What would the T-Mobile-Sprint merger mean for you?

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