Texas joins states suing to stop T-Mobile, Sprint deal as trial…

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Texas on Thursday joined 13 states seeking to stop T-Mobile US Inc’s $26 billion merger with Sprint Corp, saying it would mean higher cellphone service prices for consumers, as a judge delayed a trial in their lawsuit until Dec. 9.

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FILE PHOTO: Smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration taken April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Texas on Thursday joined 13 states seeking to stop T-Mobile US Inc’s $26 billion merger with Sprint Corp, saying it would mean higher cellphone service prices for consumers, as a judge delayed a trial in their lawsuit until Dec. 9.

With Texas, there are now 14 states and the District of Columbia seeking to stop the merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless companies. Texas is the only Republican-governed state participating in the lawsuit.

The U.S. Justice Department has signed off on the merger and the Federal Communications Commission has also indicated that it will formally approve the proposed transaction.

Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger ordered the delay after the states said they needed time to consider a deal struck by the Justice Department approving the merger with the sale of some assets.

The case had been expected to be heard beginning on Oct. 7, and was expected to last two to three weeks.

David Gelfand, a lawyer for T-Mobile, objected to the postponement. “Every day we can’t integrate puts us a day behind the competitive race,” he said.

Under the Justice Department deal announced a week ago, the companies would divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, to satellite television firm Dish Network Corp, and provide it with access to 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. That deal is worth about $5 billion.

Prepaid wireless phones are generally sought by lower-income people who cannot pass a credit check.

The states involved in the lawsuit have said that the divestiture negotiated by the federal government with Dish as a fourth wireless carrier was inadequate to protect consumers.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman


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Texas on Thursday joined 13 states seeking to stop T-Mobile US Inc’s $26 billion merger with Sprint Corp, saying it would mean higher cellphone service prices for consumers, as a judge delayed a trial in their lawsuit until Dec. 9.

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