Even as the process of regulatory approval by FCC and DOJ is advancing in the Sprint and T-Mobile deal, more states have come out in the open to oppose the deal.

Already 10 states have filed a lawsuit in a Federal court early June urging regulators to disallow the merger. They were led by New York’s Attorney General Letitia James.

According to the latest Sprint and T-Mobile merger news, additional states that joined the ant-deal lawsuit are Hawaii, Nevada Minnesota and Massachusetts.

In the earlier complaint, their state attorneys general cited anti-trust concerns and warned price hike from the deal. They also pointed to the diminished competition with the deal shrinking the players to three from the existing four. The other two companies in the markets are AT&T and Verizon.

The lawsuit said: “Competition enabled mobile wireless telecommunications services to become vital to the everyday lives of all the people by driving dramatic improvements in quality and reductions in prices. The merger will negatively impact all retail mobile wireless telecommunications service subscribers but will be particularly harmful to prepaid subscribers.”

States to file an amended complaint against merger deal

The entry of four more states to join the lawsuit was communicated to a Manhattan federal judge by Beau Buffier, chief of the antitrust bureau in James’ office. The judge was told that states will file an amended complaint citing more grounds to deny the nod for the merger deal.

On Friday, during the pre-trial hearing in Manhattan, Sprint and T-Mobile contended that their combined company would expand the 5G  wireless network in the United States.

Sprint and T-Mobile are awaiting decisions from the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission. The two regulators have not pronounced their final verdict on the deal.

Judge Vincent Marrero said the department of justice is free to take any position on the case and asked both parties whether they wanted the DOJ to make a party to the lawsuit.

Some reports said the wireless companies and states reached an understanding to pitch for a trial from Oct. 7. The suing states agreed to pitch for a speedy trial in October retracting from the earlier stand for a December trial.

T-Mobile also got the state AGs to agree that they will not seek any stay order from courts to block the deal until October.

Delay in DOJ nod

Meanwhile, despite reports that Sprint merger T-Mobile is close to green light by DOJ in a few, there is no progress in sight by way of decisions.   

But the decision is taking a long time, sources said. A decision is likely by the end of this week.

The longer gestation on the DOJ decision points to the protracted negotiations in which DOJ is insisting T-Mobile and Sprint spin-off ample assets to address the government's antitrust concerns around the telecom merger. The FCC has already sought clarifications from the companies on the road map and schedule of 5G rollout timeline.

However, Sprint attorney Steven Sunshine claimed in the Manhattan court that an agreement between the Justice Department and the companies is “imminent.”

Meanwhile, Indiana and Texas on Thursday made new filings to the Federal Communications Commission and said they are also investigating the merger deal although they have not joined the lawsuit by other states.