A US judge has agreed to hear comments from the general public in the case to grant approval for the proposed $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.
The merger between the US’ third and fourth biggest telco would create New T-Mobile, a telco with the scale and scope to challenge the US’ incumbent telco giants, AT&T and Verizon.
The deal has already been granted approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) but must now navigate its way through a law suit brought by a group of US state Attorney Generals who oppose the deal on the grounds that it would reduce competition and have a negative effect on local jobs.
Speaking in Washington on Friday, Judge Timothy Kelly said that he would allow friend of the court briefs to be considered as part of the case.
“I want to give them a reasonable opportunity to be heard,” he told reporters from Reuters.
Judge Kelly said that these briefs must be limited to 20 pages in scope and must not go over old ground that has previously been covered as part of the regulatory approval process.
Previously, the president of America’s biggest telecoms union, The Communications Workers of America (CWA), said that the proposed merger would destroy American jobs, and only benefit the bank accounts of the foreign owned parent companies of both T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom - Germany) and Sprint (Softbank - Japan).
“Trusting Sprint and T-Mobile with American jobs is like trusting a vampire at a blood bank,” he said.