The merger of Sprint and T-Mobile is edging closer to formal approval by the Federal Communications Commission, the last regulatory hurdle for the $26 billion deal.
The two telecommunications companies have locked in a third vote in favor of the combination at the five-member FCC, which means the deal could be approved within weeks, according to Bloomberg. However, the companies still face a legal challenge from more than a dozen state attorneys general, with a trial scheduled to begin on Dec. 9.
The attorneys general are seeking to block the combination of the nation’s third and fourth largest mobile companies, arguing that it would reduce competition and result in higher costs for consumers.
Support at the FCC is split along party lines, with the three Republican commissioners including Chairman Ajit Pai supporting the proposal and the two Democratic commissioners remaining skeptical of claims that it would benefit consumers. The Department of Justice’s antitrust division has already signed off on the merger.