Colorado abandons legal effort to stop Sprint, T-Mobile merger

A smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: A smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration taken April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

October 21, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Colorado became on Monday the second state to drop out of an effort by state attorneys general to stop T-Mobile US Inc’s <TMUS.O> $26 billion merger with Sprint Corp <S.N>.

Colorado struck a deal with T-Mobile and Dish Network Corp <DISH.O>, which is buying assets divested from the merger. In the deal, Dish pledged to bring 2,000 jobs to the state and T-Mobile pledged to deploy the next generation of wireless 5G across much of Colorado, the state attorney general’s office said in a statement.

Colorado is the second state to defect from the New York-led lawsuit to stop the merger. Mississippi said on Oct. 9 that it would withdraw from the legal challenge.

Under the Justice Department deal to win antitrust approval for the merger, the companies agreed to divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, to Dish, and provide it with access to 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. That deal is worth about $5 billion.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted that it was “great news” that Colorado was dropping off the lawsuit. “CO knows that New T-Mobile will create jobs and deliver 5G to rural areas of the state-and beyond!” he tweeted.

The lawsuit against Sprint and its parent company Softbank Group Corp <9984.T> and T-Mobile and its parent Deutsche Telekom AG <DTEGn.DE> argues the deal will lead to higher prices for consumers. A trial date has been set for Dec. 9.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Shumaker)

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