Last Sunday news hit the wires that Sprint and T-Mobile entered a definitive agreement to merge. The combined company will be named T-Mobile, and it will be a force for positive change in the U.S. wireless, video, and broadband industries, according to the merging parties. The T-Mobile press release is massive that comes with a long 7 minute video. However, Wall Street isn't buying into this and gives the deal about a 40% chance of actually succeeding.
Ketan Jhaveri, a former DOJ trial attorney and antitrust lawyer at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett told CNBC on Friday that the deal has a 40 percent chance of getting approval by the Trump administration while adding that the deal would have only had a 10 percent chance under the Obama administration.
What could shake the market up and complicate the government blocking the Sprint-T-Mobile deal is the verdict handed down in the AT&T Time Warner deal on June 12th.
Scott Wagner, a partner at Bilzin Sumberg and chair of the Federal Bar Association's Antitrust and Trade Regulation Sector weighed in by noting that if Judge Leon does allow AT&T to buy Time Warner, T-Mobile and Sprint's chances greatly improve. A loss for the DOJ may also make the regulatory body too gun-shy to block another deal.
If AT&T wins their case Wagner says that Sprint and T-Mobile will "argue that AT&T and Verizon are such behemoths that they only way they can bring down prices for everyone, not just their own customers, is to get big enough to really put pressure on them."
In the end, Wagner said that if Judge Leon does shoot down AT&T-Time Warner, all bets are off. It could be back to the drawing board for the entire industry.
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