T-Mobile announced today that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has cleared the company’s proposed merger with Sprint.
It’s been reported that Sprint’s Japanese parent company, SoftBank, and T-Mobile’s German parent, Deutsche Telekom, made the concession to completely remove network equipment made by Huawei from all of their respective properties — this in spite of the fact that Sprint and T-Mobile currently have no Huawei equipment. Huawei is seen as a cyberespionage apparatus of the Chinese government and has been accused of breaching US trade sanctions, though it has denied illegal activities.
It’s not clear if these conditions were agreed upon for CFIUS to give its approval.
Other regulators are also turning in paperwork to the FCC, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense. T-Mobile claims the agencies had “no objections to the merger,” signaling that the majority of competitive and cybersecurity concerns have been met. The commission will ultimately have to approve the deal, of which it is currently reviewing new aspects.
The network, which will be the senior partner in the transaction, remains confident that the deal will close in the first half of 2019.