T-Mobile has reached a deal to purchase Sprint for $26 billion, the companies said Sunday.
If the acquisition goes through, the country will be left with just three major wireless carriers, all with roughly the same number of customers. T-Mobile and Sprint combined have around 100 million wireless customers, while Verizon has roughly 116 million and AT&T has around 93 million.
T-Mobile and Sprint have tried to join forces before. In 2014, Sprint had agreed to acquire T-Mobile for around $32 billion, but federal regulators blocked the merger due to antitrust concerns.
It's not clear how the current administration will view the potential combination. But news of the proposed consolidation spurred some opposition over the weekend.
"This merger by T-Mobile and Sprint raises serious antitrust issues," Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), stated Sunday. "Competition among the four largest cell phone carriers has led to lower prices, better service and more innovation. I remain concerned that increased consolidation could undermine benefits to consumers."
Advocacy group Public Knowledge denounced the proposed merger, warning that it was "likely to harm competition and increase costs for consumers."
“Sprint and T-Mobile will be hard pressed to demonstrate how their combination would benefit the public interest," Phillip Berenbroick, senior policy counsel, stated.