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T-Mobile says its close of Sprint deal delayed until next year, despite Colorado dropping its opposition

Last week Colorado dropped its lawsuit challenging the merger

By Tali Arbel, The Associated Press

T-Mobile says it expects its combination with Sprint to close next year as it awaits a December antitrust trial with a group of state attorneys general.

The company previously planned to complete the $26 billion deal this year.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission have approved the deal, but a coalition of 15 states and the District of Columbia are trying to block it, saying it will drive up prices for consumers.

The states’ group has lost Colorado and Mississippi, which reached agreements with the companies.

T-Mobile and Sprint announced their deal in April 2018. Colorado-based Dish Network has agreed, as part of a deal to assuage federal regulators’ concerns about the merger, to scoop up Sprint’s 9.3 million prepaid business customers and some wireless spectrum in a deal valued at $5 billion.

Dish is expected to become the nation’s fourth facilities-based wireless competitor after the deal is finalized. It will headquarter that part of its business and station some 2,000 jobs in Littleton.

The Colorado Sun contributed to this report.