T-Mobile CEO John Legere (L) and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure pose for pictures on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange April 30, 2018.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
The stock was up 64% in premarket trading. It had risen after hours Monday after The Wall Street Journal reported the judge was expected to rule in favor of the deal. Shares of T-Mobile were up more than 7% before markets opened.
The ruling clears one of the final hurdles for the deal, which still can’t close until the California Public Utilities Commission approves the transaction.
Attorneys general from New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and D.C. originally brought the lawsuit to block the deal following approval from the Justice Department of Federal Communications Commission. The states had argued that combining the No. 3 and No. 4 U.S. carriers would limit competition and result in higher prices for consumers. The companies had argued their merger would help them compete against top players AT&T and Verizon and advance efforts to build a nationwide 5G network.
T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to certain concessions to the government before the agencies cleared the deal. The companies told the FCC they would deploy a 5G network covering 97% of the U.S. population within three years of closing the deal. Sprint also agreed to sell Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and other prepaid phone businesses, as well as some of its wireless spectrum to Dish Network for $5 billion before gaining approval from the Justice Department.