Sprint merger with T-Mobile could hit antitrust hurdle

Jan. 29, 2014 at 9:43 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A Sprint Corp. purchase of T-Mobile would likely face opposition from the U.S. Justice Department on antitrust concerns, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reported Wednesday that Sprint board members Masayoshi Son and Dan Hesse met with Justice Department officials this month. But the combination of Sprint, the country's third largest mobile carrier with T-Mobile, the fourth largest, would run into hurdles at the department, sources told the Journal.

Meeting with officials did not convince Son to give up on pursuing a deal, the Journal said.

Son is the founder and chief executive officer of SoftBank Corp., which holds a majority stake of Sprint.

T-Mobile is 67 percent owned by German carrier Deutsche Telekom. Executives from SoftBank Mobile and Deutsche Telekom have discussed a merger, the Journal reported.

Justice Department officials, however, believe that four major telecommunication carriers is a good balance that supports competition, which benefits U.S. customers, sources told the newspaper.

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