T-Mobile closed at $74.90, up less than 1%, while Sprint jumped 3% to close at $7.01. The stocks have see-sawed in recent weeks as the regulatory hurdles became clear.
Negotiations between the DOJ and the companies have yielded a key concession, according to the Times report, which cited multiple unnamed sources: Both companies will sell enough assets that a new telecom competitor can be formed. Sprint and T-Mobile, as the Nos. 3 and 4 players, are seeking to gain scale to better compete with AT&T and Verizon.
An agreement for the asset sales could undermine an antitrust lawsuit filed this week by the attorneys general of 10 states, including New York and California. The suit alleges the deal will result in higher prices for consumers due to fewer companies operating in the wireless space.
T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to divest of prepaid wireless unit Boost Mobile.
Executives from Dish Networks, including the satellite company’s chairman, Charlie Ergen, met with DOJ officials this week and laid out their objections to the merger. According to a regulatory filing, the Dish team expressed “the need for a minimum of four nationwide mobile network operators.”