T-Mobile has cleared another hurdle in its pursuit of merging with Sprint to create the “New T-Mobile.”
The self-proclaimed Un-carrier said it has gotten shareholder approval to combine with Sprint. It came primarily from one source as Deutsche Telekom Holding B.V., which holds 63.5 percent of T-Mobile common stock, signed off on the deal Tuesday.
“This is another step forward in creating the New T-Mobile, so we can deliver on our promise to bring robust competition to the 5G era, giving consumers more for less and creating jobs,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. “For more than five years, T-Mobile’s Un-carrier strategy has disrupted the wireless industry, and together with Sprint we will continue our mission by securing U.S. leadership in nationwide 5G, creating a real alternative to fixed broadband and bringing a consumer-first mentality to entrenched giants. We can’t wait to continue improving the wireless industry for all consumers as the New T-Mobile.”
Legere reaffirmed on the company’s third quarter earnings call Tuesday that the deal is scheduled to close in the first half of next year. T-Mobile and Sprint still need a number of regulatory approvals before the deal can be completed.
Citing the need for more time to review the deal, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in September paused an informal 180-day “shot clock” to rule on the merger. This week, the New York Post reported that the New York Attorney General’s Office is stepping up its probe into the proposed deal, citing the potential of price hikes for low-cost and prepaid phone plans.
Still, investors are confident the transaction will close without too much drama. Wells Fargo analysts bumped up their odds of the merger happening to 70 percent this week, saying it’s possible that the deal could close as soon as the first quarter of 2019.