U.S. judge sets pre-trial hearing for Sprint/T-Mobile deal for next…


FILE PHOTO: A T-Mobile store is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, U.S., May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The judge hearing a request from state attorneys general to stop T-Mobile US Inc from buying Sprint Corp for $26 billion will hold a pre-trial hearing next week.

Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York set the hearing for Thursday, June 21, in response for a request for an expedited hearing.

The states, led by New York and California, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday aimed at stopping the merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 national wireless companies, warning that the deal would cost Sprint and T-Mobile subscribers more than $4.5 billion annually.

The Federal Communications Commission has agreed in principle to approve the deal while the U.S. Justice Department is believed to be nearing a final decision.

The companies have also offered to sell its Boost brand to reduce the combined company’s market share in the prepaid business. They have also indicated they were considering divesting wireless spectrum.

Sprint has filed that its attorneys will include Karen Hoffman Lent and Steven Sunshine of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, who have handled some of the biggest antitrust cases in the past 10 years.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Susan Thomas

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