The U.S. Justice Department is pushing state officials to support a planned settlement that would allow T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) to merge by selling assets to Dish Network (DISH) , The Wall Street Journal reported.
A group led by the attorneys general of New York and California in June sued to block the $26.5 billion merger, saying it would drive up prices for cellphone services. However, citing people familiar with the negotiations, the Journal said the DOJ was now pushing those attorneys general to drop their suits to allow it to pave the way to finalizing a deal.
The talks also include attorneys general from states that refrained from joining the lawsuit, another person familiar with the matter told the Journal.
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The Justice Department earlier this month said it had tentatively agreed to a series of concessions from T-Mobile and Sprint designed to create a new wireless carrier by handing assets to satellite TV provider Dish, which has long planned to enter the wireless market. In addition to customers and airwaves, Dish would get to operate on T-Mobile's network for seven years, the Journal has reported.
The delay from Washington came as T-Mobile reported another quarter of customer gains and raised its forecast for the year. The company added 710,000 net postpaid phone customers and ended the second quarter with 131,000 more prepaid subscribers.
T-Mobile reported second-quarter earnings of $939 million, up from $782 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 3.9% to $11 billion.
Shares of T-Mobile were up 2.32% at $81.76 in early trading on Friday, while shares of Sprint were up more than 4% at $7.74. Dish shares were up 0.36% at $39.31.