Colorado is joining a handful of states in joining the Justice Department's settlement agreement with T-Mobile-Sprint.
Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota have already signed on, though far more states are joined in a suit to try and block the deal.
Related: Texas Joins T-Mobile/Sprint Suit
The Justice Department has signed off on the deal, with conditions, but a federal court still has to sign off on those conditions to make sure they are in the public interest. Usually that court approval--per the Tunney Act--is mostly pro-forma, but there is still a comment process and deal critics have been making their case there.
The FCC has voted to approve the deal, contingent on the DOJ settlement terms, notably that the combined company will spin off Boost Mobile and Sprint Mobile to Dish (it is based in Colorado), which has pledged to be a wireless competitor, ultimately a facilities-based competitor, to the combined company, and that T-Mobile-Sprint will speed the rollout of 5G.
“We are pleased that Colorado has left the New York and California litigation and is seeking to join our settlement,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “The merger, with the divestitures, will benefit Coloradoans and American consumers nationwide.”
T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed not to close the deal until six days after a decision, so the deal won't close until at least early 2020.
The states suing to block the deal include Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
A New York district court hearing that case granted the AGs' request for more time for discovery in the case and to incorporate DOJ's settlement, so agreed to delay the start of the trial from Oct. 7 to Dec. 9.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.