Before the Department of Justice will approve the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, it wants to see more concessions from Deutsche Telekom, which will be the controlling telecommunications company following the merger. The DOJ has made it clear that a fourth US wireless competitor must be created before the merger may take place, leaning towards Dish Network to fill the open spot. According to CNBC, Deutsche Telekom, Dish and the DOJ are on the cusp of reaching a final agreement, which could come as soon as next week.
The DOJ wants Deutsche Telekom to give more aid to Dish Network to ensure the new wireless carrier can compete with the other leading companies in the US, including T-Mobile/Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. The DOJ is reportedly pressuring Deutsche Telekom to give Dish unlimited access to its network, but T-Mobile said it would not budge from the 12.5 per cent already proposed.
CNBC also found that Dish is seeking access to the combined T-Mobile/Sprint network for 6 or 7 years following the merger. After this part of the deal expires, Dish will need to develop and move to its own wireless network. Dish will be the only major wireless carrier that does not have a 5G network in the works but plans to develop one as soon as it acquires the funds. As a result, T-Mobile has asked that “no strategic investor take more than a 5 per cent stake in Dish.”
One a finalized deal can be made, the merger will move one step closer to completion, but ultimately needs the DOJ’s stamp of approval. The federal government is not the only entity that has publicly opposed the merger. As of now, there are 14 state attorneys general that have filed lawsuits in an effort to block the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, citing anticompetition and monopoly laws.