A new report claims that Department of Justice antitrust staffers have told T-Mobile and Sprint that their merger is unlikely to be approved as it's currently structured. According to Wall Street Journal sources, the DOJ staff question T-Mobile and Sprint's claims that the deal will result in important efficiencies. A source speaking to Reuters says that it's unclear if the DOJ wants to kill the deal outright or is trying to get T-Mo and Sprint to make certain concessions.
Meanwhile, some state antitrust officials are reportedly also concerned about the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. It's said that they're ready to launch lawsuits to stop the deal if the DOJ doesn't block it.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere responded to today's reports, saying that they're "simply untrue".
The premise of this story, as summarized in the first paragraph, is simply untrue. Out of respect for the process, we have no further comment. This continues to be our policy since we announced our merger last year. https://t.co/3q9CVgkRfv key info: https://t.co/N5YvuuJtPZ
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) April 16, 2019
Both the FCC and DOJ must approve T-Mobile and Sprint's merger before it can be completed. While today's news isn't a great sign for the deal, it doesn't mean that things are over. It's possible that T-Mobile and Sprint could make concessions to make the deal more appealing to the DOJ and its antitrust staff. For now we'll just have to wait and see how things play out.