New York drops out of suit to block T-Mobile, Sprint merger

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Sunday dropped a court challenge to the $26-billion Sprint and T-Mobile merger.

James was among 13 attorneys general who had opposed the mega-marriage between the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless carriers, claiming that it would drive up consumer prices.

But a federal judge in Manhattan last week gave the companies the go ahead to move forward with the deal.

Some of the other state regulators, including California, Connecticut and Massachusetts, are still reviewing their options, according to reports.

The regulators’ lawsuit to stop the merger is one of the last major obstacles to the deal, which T-Mobile argues will improve its ability to compete against rivals Verizon and AT&T. The US Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission both approved the merger last year.

James’ reversal is in stark comparison to her fighting words last week in reaction to the court’s ruling.

“From the start, this merger has been about massive corporate profits over all else, and despite the companies’ false claims, this deal will endanger wireless subscribers where it hurts most: their wallets,” she said in a statement.

Her tone was muted on Sunday when she announced New York’s new take on the deal.

“After a thorough analysis, New York has decided not to move forward with an appeal in this case. We are gratified that this process has yielded commitments from T-Mobile to create jobs in Rochester and engage in robust national diversity initiatives that will connect our communities with good jobs and technology,” James said in a statement.

The merger could close as early as April 1, the companies said.

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