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New York on T-Mobile, Sprint merger: Keep state jobs or else

The $26.5 billion T-Mobile, Sprint merger is under the watchful eye of the state when it comes to local jobs, according to a recent Public Service Commission filing that sealed the agency’s approval on the merger agreement.

Why is public service commission approval needed?

The commission is an arm of state government tasked with making sure the state’s utility agencies, including telecommunications companies, provide adequate services to residents, and that related business transactions are serving the public interest.

Sprint and T-Mobile, the third and fourth largest wireless companies in the U.S., need the commission’s authorization to transfer control of Sprint’s coverage area and customers to the new company, to be called T-Mobile. The company asserts that consumers will get better coverage out of the deal.

The transaction also needs federal regulatory approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice.

What happened?

The agency approved that transfer last week — a crucial step toward finalizing the merger, which is expected to occur by mid-2019, pending further regulatory approvals, said T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

The companies need approval from public service commissions in 19 states to complete the merger, and New York was number 16 to approve the transaction.

“ …The proposed transaction is expected to produce an incremental net benefit after mitigating certain risks and considering certain benefits,” the commission stated in the filing.

The commission helped to mitigate those risks through conditions imposed on the deal.

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