"There are important nuances related to T-Mobile and Sprint that many observers miss, and the likely impact of Dish on the Towers may not be as dramatic or realized as quickly as many hope", wrote Craig Moffett.
USA tower companies saw some relief with Judge Victor Marrero's approval of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, with shares rising on the news Tuesday.
The judge said the states are right that both Sprint and T-Mobile will provide 5G service without the combination, but the standalone companies' 5G networks would be more limited in their scope and take longer to build. "The proposed merger would allow the merged company to continue T-Mobile's undeniably successful business strategy for the foreseeable future". The states' lawsuit was the last major hurdle to the deal after it secured the blessing of regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department's antitrust division.
T-Mobile added that it is committed to delivering the same or better rate plans at the same or better prices for at least three years, including 5G.
Shares in Sprint-owner SoftBank rose by more than 12% on Wednesday when the Tokyo stock market reopened after the National Founding Day holiday. Now we're laser-focused on finishing the few open items that remain but our eye is on the prize: finally bringing this long-awaited merger and all the goodness it will deliver to a close as early as April 1, 2020. The states that sued had urged Marrero after the trial not to give any extra weight to the federal government's decision, calling the government's review of the deal "cursory".
After winning regulatory approvals for combining their wireless networks a year ago, T-Mobile and Sprint still had to contend with a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of several different states.
Sprint and T-Mobile said in a statement that they would move to finalise the merger, which is still subject to closing conditions and possible additional court proceedings. And while there have been "not hostile" discussions of several issues, including price, T-Mobile has suggested there could be new terms. But on February 11 a US federal judge ruled in favor of letting the merger proceed.
Despite the NY court ruling, the coalition 14 state attorneys general maintains that reducing the number of national wireless carriers from four to three will hurt consumers by reducing competition. The decision is expected to be announced tomorrow, the papers reported.
The merger still must be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission before it can become official.
T-Mobile details its post-merger plans back in November 2019.
The ruling is also a victory for Dish Network Corp.co-founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen, who is buying assets from the two carriers to set up a new wireless network. T-Mobile extended gains to as much as 8.4% to $91.88.