U.S. Attorney General William Barr has requested his recusal from the Justice Department’s discussion on whether to give a go ahead to the $26 billion deal of merging Sprint into T-Mobile, reported Reuters, citing a source familiar with the decision.
The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division with Makan Delrahim as its head, has been reviewing the merger deal to determine if it will result in higher prices for consumers or will harm innovation in the industry, as most of the critics are alleging.
The transaction to merge the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the United States is also in requirement of getting approval from the Federal Communications Commission making it able to be executable.
The Attorney General’s decision of recusal was first reported by the New York Post.
Earlier in December, in a filing with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, Barr acknowledged his ownership of a T-Mobile bond having a value of between $15,001 and $50,000, and two other T-mobile bonds, also owing a Sprint bond having a value of less than $1,001, which all are to be sold in a time span of 90 days of his acknowledgment, deadline of which was Feb 14.
Earlier at the time of consideration of AT&T deal to acquire Time Warner, which saw opposition by government but has closed now, Barr had also recused himself for being involved with those companies.
To the deal of T-Mobile to acquire Sprint, critics are alleging it to be hurting as it will leave the market with less of the competition which will subsequently be resulting in higher prices for consumer, whereas the two companies are in the view that their proposed deal would be forming a more powerful third-largest U.S. wireless carrier which will also be in better position to quickly build out its 5G next generation wireless network.
The regulators will be weighing those arguments by both sides and are expected to make their decision in early June.