Sprint, T-Mobile deal said to clear first federal regulatory hurdle

T-Mobile’s $26 billion acquisition of Sprint gained approval Monday from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Treasury committee was involved because Sprint and T-Mobile are controlled by foreign-based telecom companies, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG, respectively.

Protect America’s Wireless, an industry advocacy group, released a statement that said the merger requires “intense scrutiny, especially when it relies on so much foreign investment.”

The deal between Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile, the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier, and Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint, the No. 4 carrier, still requires approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

Also Monday, a study was released saying the merger could slash wireless retail store employee wages by as much as 7 percent, the Kansas City Star reports. The study suggested wages would be affected for not only Sprint and T-Mobile workers, but also Verizon and AT&T employees.

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