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T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger deadline was extended — again

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‘I have not made up my mind. The investigation continues,’ Delrahim said

T-Mobile Sprint merger
T-Mobile Sprint merger

Last April, T-Mobile and Sprint announced their plans to merge, yet one year later neither the US Federal Communications Commission nor the Justice Department have approved the deal — and the telecommunications companies just opted to extend the deadline an extra month.

On Monday, T-Mobile and Sprint announced a deadline extension for the $26.5 billion merger in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The two companies will now have until July 29th to convince officials at both the FCC and DOJ to approve the transaction that would combine the third and fourth largest telecommunications companies in the country into one.

Makan Delrahim, who heads the antitrust division of the Justice Department, says that he had not decided whether to approve the deal. “I have not made up my mind,” Delrahim told CNBC on Monday. “The investigation continues. We’ve requested some data from the companies that will be forthcoming. We don’t have a set number of meetings or a timeline.”

Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the merger announcement. In anticipation of the date, the 4Competition Coalition (which includes around two dozen consumer advocacy groups including Fight for the Future, Open Markets Institute, and Communications Workers of America) put out a statement opposing the merger. “In the year since T-Mobile and Sprint announced plans to merge,” the statement reads, “they have failed to show that this deal is in the public interest and complies with antitrust law.”

The coalition continued, “The companies seems to believe PR and spin will carry the day, but we believe that, based on the facts and the law, this proposed merger should be blocked.”

T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment.