WSJ: Judge approves T-Mobile, Sprint merger

Wall Street Journal:

A judge’s approval of T-Mobile US Inc.’s takeover of Sprint Corp. will usher in a new balance of power in the U.S. wireless market and test whether three giants will compete as aggressively for cellphone users as four unequal players once did.


The opinion will leave most of the country’s wireless customers with three major network operators: Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and the new T-Mobile. New entrant Dish plans to use the deal as a springboard for its mobile ambitions, while U.S. cable companies are stuck with existing providers’ networks for their fledgling cellular services.


The judge was convinced both by testimony from Sprint executives that the struggling carrier was falling behind, despite what he described as “valiant attempts” to remain competitive, and from Dish that it would be able to operate a viable new carrier.

He also acknowledged the effort the FCC and Justice Department put into crafting a fourth nationwide carrier run by Dish. The agreement requires Sprint to sell airwaves and about nine million customer accounts to Dish.

Better for consumers? Who knows.

From the horse’s mouth: Here’s a link to the decision itself.