The Latest: T-Mobile expects to close Sprint deal in 2019

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FILE – In this Feb. 23, 2011, file photo, Dish Network satellite dishes are shown at an apartment complex in Palo Alto, Calif. U.S. regulators are approving T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of rival Sprint, despite fears of higher prices and job cuts. The approval on Friday, July 26, 2019, by the Justice Department and five state attorneys general comes after Sprint and T-Mobile agreed to conditions that would set up satellite-TV provider Dish as a fourth wireless company, so the number of major U.S. providers remains at four. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on approval of T-Mobile’s Sprint takeover (all times local):

1:35 p.m.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere says he’s hoping to engage with state attorneys general who have sued to block its $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint.

Legere says he believes the deal can close by the end of the year.

The Justice Department approved the deal on Friday, clearing a major hurdle for a deal set to transform the telecom industry. To win approval, T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to sell some prepaid businesses and airwave rights for wireless service to satellite-TV company Dish.

But many critics say that’s not good enough. Democratic attorneys general from 13 states have sued to stop the takeover, citing consumer harm. New York Attorney General Letitia James says having Dish as a smaller rival “will not address the merger’s harm to consumers, workers, and innovation.”

___

1:10 p.m.

Some industry watchers say T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint is a bad deal for consumers.

The Justice Department approved the deal on Friday, clearing a major hurdle for a deal set to transform the telecom industry. To win approval, T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to sell some prepaid businesses and airwave rights for wireless service to satellite-TV company Dish.

But Center for Democracy and Technology staff fellow Avery Gardiner says the deal will reduce competition and could hike prices for consumers.

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner says the Justice Department is trying to “split the baby” by requiring a sale of some units to Dish, but nothing in that will mean lower prices for consumers.

On the other hand, Jessica Melugin of the Competitive Enterprise Institute think tank says that since the government is stepping aside consumers will get the “wireless innovation that they deserve.”

___

11:30 a.m.

U.S. regulators are approving T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of rival Sprint, despite fears of higher prices and job cuts.

Friday’s approval by the Justice Department and five state attorneys general comes after Sprint and T-Mobile agreed to conditions that would set up satellite-TV provider Dish as a fourth wireless company, so the number of major U.S. providers remains at four.

Dish is buying prepaid cellphone brands such as Boost and Virgin Mobile and some spectrum, or airwaves for wireless service, from the two companies. It will also be able to rent T-Mobile’s network for seven years while it builds its own.

Democratic attorneys general from 13 states have sued to stop the takeover, citing consumer harm. They may not be satisfied with the settlement and choose to press ahead.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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