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T-Mobile’s Acquisition Of Sprint Could Be Closed By Q1 Of 2019

T-Mobile’s Acquisition Of Sprint Could Be Closed By Q1 Of 2019
Even as a review is being recommenced on the acquisition of US firm telecom form Sprint by T-Mobile US by the regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC), T-Mobile is hopeful that it would be able to close the deal in the first quarter of next year itself, according to the company’s CFO Braxton Carter.
T-Mobile is hopeful of getting “some early indications of where these regulatory agencies are at by the end of this year”, Carter said at the Morgan Stanley TMT conference in Barcelona this week, reported the media.
“The only remaining thing that is happening is depositions with the DoJ, which have started and will be completed in a few weeks,” said Carter. “At this point, it’s more pointing to the second quarter as more probable, but it could still be first quarter,” he said
The FCC and the US Department of Justice is currently reviewing the $26 billion deal that was first announced in April this year.
The FCC however halted the review in September this year for a three month period to review and examine some additional documents that had been submitted by the companies. The review is to restart again from December 4, the FCC announced this week. The regulator has also granted the same time period to third parties to conduct their review of the new documents submitted.
Both the companies  - T-Mobile US and Sprint, have expressed confidence that they would be able to close the deal by the first half of 2019. But a time line of first quarter of 2019 has been put up by the companies for the first time.  
US wireless carrier Sprint was agreed to be bought by T-Mobile, which has Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGn.DE) as its majority shareholder, in April this year.
There were no comments available from any of the government agencies.
Both the companies had been in discussions over the deal for a period of four years – with intermediate hiatus in the talks. The agreement for the deal that was ultimately reached between the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers in April would create a large entity that many analysts believe would be strong enough to effectively compete with Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc – the top two players in the US telecom service providing market.
In 2014, the deal was nearly over but for anti trust concerns that were expressed by the then Obama administration and the two companies had to  abandon the deal and start afresh.
The DoJ has been submitted documents comprising of 25 million pages by both the companies, Carter informed. Additionally, the companies had also filled up 600 pages public information statement with the FCC and undertaken meetings and talks with other government agencies and departments of the US government.
“The combined assets of Sprint and T-Mobile can create 8 times the 5G capacity that either of us could do on a standalone basis and 15 times the speed,” Carter said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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