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Pennsylvania utilities commission approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger

T-Mobile CEO John Legere (L) and Executive Director of Sprint Marcelo Claure pose for photographs before testifying to the House Judiciary Committee's Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 12, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission on Thursday approved T-Mobile US's $26 billion purchase of rival Sprint, bringing the megamerger one step closer to completion.

The commission voted 3-2 to approve the deal, it said in a statement.

The companies are still awaiting approval from the Justice Department's Antitrust Division and two other state commissions, for California and Hawaii. It was unclear if state attorneys general will fight the proposed transaction.

The deal has won approval in principle from the Federal Communications Commission and other state public utility commissions.

Critics of the transaction have said it will lead to higher prices for consumers, particularly poorer ones who use prepaid wireless plans that do not require credit checks.

The companies have pledged not to raise prices and said that merging would allow them to more quickly build 5G, the next-generation wireless network.

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Key Points
  • Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton says the details of a Boost divestiture will dictate his interest in buying back the business in a Sprint-T-Mobile deal.
  • Adderton said he was in favor or a merger because Sprint won't be able to compete against AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile without a tie-up.