U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero concluded the deal, worth $26 billion when it was struck two years ago, wasn’t likely to substantially lessen competition, and rejected the main arguments by a group of states seeking to block the deal as anti-competitive.
“T-Mobile has redefined itself over the past decade as a maverick that has spurred the two largest players in its industry to make numerous pro-consumer changes,” the judge wrote, adding that a closed deal would allow it to continue “T-Mobile’s undeniably successful business strategy for the foreseeable future.”
Judge Marrero rejected the states’ argument that Sprint, without the deal, could continue competing. He also said a deal brokered by federal regulators to set up Dish Network Corp. as a new cellular phone service provider would benefit consumers.
The opinion will leave most of the country’s wireless customers with three major network operators: Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and the new T-Mobile.