Sprint and T-Mobile have now cleared the final official hurdle before they can close on their proposed merger, following reports that the FCC has now approved the deal. But the companies have reportedly opted to wait on a joint lawsuit from several states before finalizing the deal. That's according to statements made by representatives of the two carriers.
Only two federal bodies are required to give approval to what would become the "new" T-Mobile. The FCC approved the deal today. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the deal back near the end of July.
The lawsuit hoping to block the merger is brought by more than 10 attorneys general. That was reported back in June and stems across both the country and party lines. Concerns primarily center around whether or not the deal will be good for consumers but also the industry and the U.S. position in terms of 5G. Consumer advocacy firms have also come out against the merger.
Concessions paved the way for the now-approved merger
The two companies have additionally faced opposition within the DOJ and the FCC. The breadth of that is made evident in the number of times the deal seemed ready to fall through. In several instances, extensions have had to be made while specifics of the deal were explained and changes made to align with regulatory agencies.
The results of those delays include several concessions Sprint and T-Mobile are jointly making to make sure the merger doesn't create problems. Among those, Sprint is selling its Boost Mobile assets to Dish.
The sale creates a fourth mobile carrier that will be reliant on existing infrastructure while Dish prepares infrastructure for a complete hand-off.
T-Mobile and Dish will both be required to support eSIM technology as well. It's hoped that requirement will bolster competition and make the transition easier for those who want to switch carriers.
Beyond those concessions, T-Mobile and Sprint also agreed to sell off a number of spectrum assets to level the playing field further.
Impacts of a merger, as promised by T-Mobile and Sprint
The new T-Mobile promises to push forward the advance of 5G at an increasing clip without raising prices for customers. Central to that would be the combined companies' ability to utilize a wide range of spectrum integral to 5G for short and long-range transmission.
The service providers have also promised a rapid increase in jobs. Primarily, those will stem from customer service being moved in line with T-Mobile's "T-Mobile Team of Experts" or TEX model. The model effectively customers with semi-localized real people when they need help with their service.
Sprint and T-Mobile previously estimated the creation of around 1,000 new jobs by 2021. A further 7,500 jobs are claimed to be made possible via the deal too, moving the timeline through 2024.
T-Mobile and Sprint claim those jobs simply wouldn't be created otherwise. Not included in those job figures, T-Mobile and Sprint have claimed that as many as 600 new stores could be opened in that timeframe if the merger is allowed to close.
That would undoubtedly account for a few thousand additional jobs if the promises come to fruition.