The T-Mobile and Sprint merger has been approved by the FCC

People looking at smartphones

The Federal Communications Commission on a 3-2 Republican-led vote gave final USA regulatory approval to the US$26.5-billion deal proposed past year, said two people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter hasn't been published.

Although the FCC has telegraphed its approval of the Sprint and T-Mobile merger, that doesn't mean there isn't dissent within the agency.

Among those voted in favor of the merger deal included Chairman Ajit Pai, two Republican commissioners Brendan Carr and Michael O'Reilly while two Democratic commissioners opposed the deal.

One of the Democratic commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel, expressed her disapproval in an op-ed for The Atlantic today.

Read the rest of the story in the Kansas City Business Journal.

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The wireless merger still faces opposition from a coalition of state attorneys general, who argue the deal is bad for competition.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup. There's no reason to think this time will be different. It has also been reported that Commissioner Starks pressed Chairman Pai to add language that would penalize Sprint if an investigation proves that the company abused the Lifeline subsidy program.

"The votes are IN and we're one step closer to bringing New T-Mobile to American consumers". Even though conditions for the merger require the new T-Mobile to help Dish Mobile become a new "fourth telecom", ostensibly to preserve some degree of competition, it has little incentive to do so. The DOJ is tolerating short-and medium-term aggressive damages and legitimizing them "dependent on an exceedingly idealistic perspective on potential advantages in the more extended term", they composed.

"I$3 f the substantial and acknowledged competitive problems with this four-to-three merger are remedied by this strategy of re-arranging some assets, negotiating some contracts, and then hoping for the best some years down the road, it is unclear what merger would not be salvageable with the same scheme", the economists wrote.

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