The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said Monday he endorses a proposed merger deal between T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp.
"I believe that this transaction is in the public interest and intend to recommend to my colleagues that the FCC approve it," Ajit Pai said in a statement.
"This is a unique opportunity to speed up the deployment of 5G throughout the United States and bring much faster mobile broadband to rural Americans. We should seize this opportunity."
The endorsement came after the companies agreed to various concessions, including a promise to deploy a 5G network that would cover 85 percent of rural Americans within three years and 90 percent within six years. T-Mobile US is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG, while Sprint is SoftBank Group Corp.'sU.S. wireless carrier unit.
The $26 billion merger deal between T-Mobile and Sprint, which was announced in April last year, is currently under review by the Justice Department and the FCC.
If approved, the deal would shrink the United States' major wireless carrier pool to three, down from four including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.
© Kyodo News International, Inc., source Newswire