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Department of Justice on Sprint/T-Mobile merger: no “magical number” in wireless market

By Jules Wang June 4, 2018, 11:50 pm

The Big Four may become the Big Three and the Department of Justice might not care too much.

Antitrust head Mark Delrahim told reporters at a Council on Foreign Relations event that a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would not face the barrier that killed a similar merger attempt in 2014: the need for a four-player market.

“I don’t think there’s any magical number that I’m smart enough to glean about any single market,” Delharim said.

Bloomberg reports that the prior deal, which failed to close during the Obama administration, set a bright line against any such deals between AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint.

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But there are larger concerns for the two carriers in question to deal with like a dominance on the prepaid market, investor skiddishness on the value of the deal — Sprint stock is trading 11 percent below the value as propositioned in the merger — and whether the sum of the two companies will provide a sufficient amount of competition against Verizon and AT&T.

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