The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero clears the path for the deal, which already has federal approval and was originally valued at $26 billion. In his ruling, the judge noted the difficulty in deciding an antitrust case since it forces the judge to predict the future in deciding if a deal will lead to higher prices. But Judge Marrero said that he based his decision on three essential points. The first was that he was not persuaded by the states that the deal would lead to higher prices or lower quality wireless services. He disagreed that Sprint would remain a strong competitor and was unconvinced that DISH, who is buying divested assets from the deal, would fail to live up to its promises to enter and compete in the wireless market. Sprint and T-Mobile said in a statement they would move to finalize the merger, which is still subject to certain closing conditions and possible court proceedings. New York’s attorney general said the state is considering an appeal; California’s attorney general said that state is “prepared to fight.”
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: T-Mobile’s edged closer to a takeover of Sprint after a federal judge on Tuesday approved the deal, rejecting a claim by a group of states that said the deal would violate antitrust laws and raise prices. During a two-week trial in December, T-Mobile and Sprint argued the merger will better equip the new company to compete with top players Verizon and AT&T as the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, creating a more efficient company with low prices and faster internet speeds. The states, led by California and New York, had said the deal would reduce competition, leading to higher prices.