U.S. DOJ nears approval of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint

The U.S. Department of Justice is nearing approval of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint. An announcement could happen as soon as Wednesday, sources told CNBC.

Alex Sherman for CNBC:

There’s a term in poker called “pot committed.” It means arriving at a point in time when it no longer makes sense to fold a hand regardless of the circumstances. When you’re pot committed, you’ve decided to bet whatever it takes, and you just hope your opponents don’t have a better hand.

T-Mobile and Sprint have decided they are pot committed on their merger, a deal that’s been in the works for years. Their transaction, which would form a combined company with an enterprise value of about $160 billion, requires both companies reach an agreement with the Department of Justice about creating a new fourth wireless competitor. A deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter. CNBC’s David Faber first reported the Department of Justice would sue to block its deal if an agreement with regulators wasn’t reached this week.

That new wireless competitor will be Dish Network, one of the largest U.S. providers of video. Dish has wanted to become a wireless provider for about a decade, spending billions on airwaves that it has been storing for years. Unfortunately for T-Mobile, arguably the worst person the company could be running up against in this situation is Dish CEO and co-founder Charlie Ergen, a famed poker player who is notorious for keeping his cards close to the vest.

MacDailyNews Take: Dish Network could make Sprint look even more like a meek little lamb and be a far more formidable competitor, which is great news for U.S. cellular customers who stand to benefit from increased competition among carriers!

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