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$26-billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint approved by Department of Justice

By: TALI ARBEL and MARCY GORDON, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Regulators approved Bellevue-based T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint with conditions, despite fear of price hikes and job cuts.

Friday’s approval by the Justice Department and five state attorneys general comes after Sprint and T-Mobile agreed to conditions that would set up satellite-TV provider Dish as a fourth wireless company, so the number of major U.S. providers remains at four. 

Dish is buying prepaid cellphone brands such as Boost and Virgin Mobile and some spectrum, or airwaves for wireless service, from the two companies. It will also be able to rent T-Mobile’s network for seven years while it builds its own. 

Democratic attorneys general from 13 states have sued to stop the takeover, citing consumer harm. They may not be satisfied with the settlement and choose to press ahead.

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