On Thursday US states litigating to stop T-Mobile US Inc.’s $26 billion mergers with Sprint Corp gained two victories as Texas’ Republican Attorney General (AG) joined 14 Democrats, including political depth to the group, and a decision agreed to give states until December to make their case.
Texas’ choice, which brings the sole Republican on board, is a victory for the State AG. The lawsuit delay and a ruling giving states sufficient room to seek evidence had been additional wins for the deal’s litigants, given the difficulty and cost of seeking an acquisition throughout a lengthy court fight.
Including Texas, there are now 14 states and the Columbia District seeking to cease the merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless firms.
The US Justice Department has signed off on the merger, and the Federal Communications Commission has shown that it will formally approve the proposed deal.
Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger, who’s assisting Judge Victor Marrero within the case, ordered the delay during a hearing on Thursday after the states mentioned they needed time to consider a deal hit by the Justice Department approving the merger with sales of some assets.
The trial had been expected to be heard starting on Oct. 7 and was expected to last two to three weeks. It’s now set for Dec. 9.
Under the Justice Department deal included a week in the past, the companies would divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Enhance Cell, to satellite firm DISH Network Corp, and provide it with access to 20,000 cell sites and lots of store locations. That deal is worth about $5 billion.