T-Mobile/Sprint deal faces another setback

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T-Mobile’s attempt to buy Sprint and close the deal faced another setback when US District Judge Timothy Kelly extended his Tunney Act review of the Department of Justice settlement into mid-February. He said he would consider friend-of-the-court briefs on the proposed transaction. The briefs must be limited to 20 pages and filed by January 24, with the parties responding by February 7. “We had initially expected this routine review to end in mid-November. Now it might not conclude until after Judge Victor Marrero’s decision in the State AG case, thereby delaying T-Mobile’s ability to close the deal,” wrote LightShed Partners analysts Walter Piecyk and Joe Galone. “This generates additional uncertainty for investors and could further widen the ratio between T-Mobile and Sprint’s stock.” Starting a new comment period for the Tunney Act review is not a good sign, but it’s still not the worst-case scenario, according to the LightShed analysts, who think it’s unlikely Judge Kelly will conduct a full evidentiary hearing. “T-Mobile likely hopes that the Judge’s willingness to listen to those contesting the deal will not extend into more testimony in yet another court,” the analysts wrote. “That could end up preventing T-Mobile from quickly closing the deal if they were to achieve a favorable ruling in the State AG case. More delays could enable the States time to appeal.”

T-Mobile/Sprint deal faces another setback - analysts