T-Mobile and Sprint head to court: Everything you need to know

CNET | 12/9/2019 | Staff
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T-Mobile and Sprint will face off in court with state attorneys general over the fate of their merger.

The fate of the $26 billion megamerger between T-Mobile and Sprint is in the hands of a federal judge. The companies head to court today, where they'll defend their deal to combine the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the US against a challenge from state attorneys general who say the merger will hurt competition and lead to higher prices.

Lawyers - Sprint - T-Mobile - Settlements - States

Lawyers for Sprint and T-Mobile have already struck settlements with five states, but 14 attorneys general, led by those of California and New York, continue their fight to block the deal, in spite of approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, and a decision from District Judge Victor Marrero in the Southern District of New York is expected in February, according to people familiar with the proceeding.

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A lot hangs in the balance. The merger, announced more than a year ago, could bring about a seismic shift in the mobile world. One of the conditions of the deal is the divestiture of assets to Dish, giving consumers another potential alternative. The satellite TV provider vows to cover 70 percent of the US with 5G by 2023. T-Mobile and Sprint's combined assets could jump-start the merged entity's 5G ambitions, pushing the industry further into the next-generation technology. The two companies have also said they'll lock in prices for at least three years.

Experts - Economists - Sides - Merger - Benefits

Experts and economists from both sides are expected to testify on whether the merger benefits consumers and what the merger will do to competition in the wireless market, as well as Sprint's prospects for remaining a standalone company.

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