T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Clears National Security Reviews

T-Mobile's proposal to merge with Sprint has received the okay from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the so-called Team Telecom review by the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense.

T-Mobile and Sprint filed the proposed deal with the FCC June 18.

That means the government apparently does not have a national security issue with the fact that UK-based SoftBank Capital will have 27% of the combined company and Saudi Arabia has invested billions in SoftBank's tech-focused Vision Fund, or the fact that Netherlands-based T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telecom could have up to 100% of indirect ownership in a merged T-Mobile-Sprint combo, or concerns about Chinese telecom tech in the merged network.

Team Telecom reviews mergers with foreign ownership for potential national security issues and T-Mobile says it has told the FCC it has no objection to the deal.

Related: FCC Using Outside Economist to Vet AT&T-T-Mobile

While DOJ is part of the CFIUS sign-off, the department is still conducting its antitrust review, and the FCC its public interest and competition review of the deal, which would combine the number three and number four carriers, which would consolidate the market, but T-Mobile says that would create a stronger disrupter of the top two former Baby Bells--AT&T and Verizon--and critics say would dull that disrupter edge and reduce competition.

“We are pleased to achieve both of these important milestones in the journey to build the New T-Mobile," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere. "We are a step closer to offering customers a supercharged disrupter that will create jobs from day one and deliver a real alternative to fixed broadband while delivering the first broad and deep nationwide 5G network for the United States...We look forward to continuing our discussions with the remaining regulatory agencies reviewing our transaction to share our story and subsequently achieve similar positive results.”

The deal will be a merger of Sprint into T-Mobile as an indirect subsidiary of T-Mobile and a direct subsidiary of T-Mobile USA, which is itself a subsidiary of T-Mobile. John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile will be CEO of the combined company, with T-Mobile president Mike Sievert serving as president and COO of the combined company.

John Eggerton

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.