A federal government committee and other top regulators in the United States have approved the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, paving the way for a union between the country’s third and fourth largest wireless operators.
The United States Foreign Investigation Committee – A National Investigation Agency for National Security for National Security Threats – Justice, Home Affairs, and Defense Ministry agreed that $ 26.5 billion, T-Mobile said in a statement on Monday.
Some investors, consumer advocates and government officials opposed the merger and argued that the new telecommunications giant would limit customers’ choices and lead to high prices for consumers.
The combination would still need to secure approval from the Federal Communications Commission, which reviewed a possible T-Mobile Sprint merger before. During 2014, regulators at F.C.C. rejected a proposed merger and concluded that effective reduction of the US wireless market to three major carriers from four would not be good for consumers.
The agreement is still subject to other regulatory authorities. If the two companies receive these approvals, the transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2019, according to T-Mobile.
Earlier, US regulatory authorities refused to merge in the telecom industry, such as AT & T’s proposal of $ 39 billion to buy T-Mobile 2011, with the reason that more competitors are better for consumers because they lead to lower prices and superior service .
The T-Mobile-Sprint store has also raised national security concerns from some legislators. They quote a company that is not involved in the store: Huawei, the Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment.
US officials have long seen Huawei a national security threat. The major telecom companies in the United States, including Sprint and T-Mobile, have avoided using the company’s equipment to run their networks.
Still, the two company’s parents are Huawei customers. Sprint is controlled by SoftBank in Japan, while T-Mobile is managed by its German parent, Deutsche Telekom.
However, their band to Huawei can be changed. The date of approval will come as Deutsche Telekom weighs a revaluation of its purchasing strategy following the ongoing controversy surrounding Huawei. Deutsche Telekom said it was seriously the “global discussion on the safety of networking devices from Chinese manufacturers”.
In Japan, state officials have said they develop procurement procedures in areas such as communications networks and information technology aimed at cyber security. Official officials have denied that the guidelines would rule out Chinese companies like Huawei.
“This does not mean to exclude certain companies,” said Yoshihide Suga, Japanese chief executive secretary, last week. “It’s extremely important not to get equipment embedded with malicious features.”
Takatoshi Mori, a spokesman for SoftBank , says that SoftBank also reconsiders its relationship with Huawei “based on speculation.” But he added: “We will consider our future policies while following government policies,” and said that it gets the most of its network equipment from European suppliers.
Western European governments, including the United States, are worried that Huawei’s systems may be susceptible to spying by the Chinese government. Australia and New Zealand have both prohibited Huawei equipment from planned 5G networks in these countries. A senior executive from Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, is waiting for extradition to the United States from Canada, in a case that has inflamed relations between China and the United States.