From S&P Global:

However, Tom Struble, technology policy manager at the R Street Institute, a free-market policy think tank, still believes the deal is likely to go through. He noted that Sprint, even with the financial backing of its parent company SoftBank Group Corp., does not have the resources to remain a robust competitor in the U.S. wireless market.

While some opponents of the deal have argued that Softbank is financially stable enough to bankroll Sprint to become more competitive, Struble said, “Softbank is not in nearly as strong of a financial position as they were a year ago.”

One question for both Sohn and Struble is what role the disclosure of certain text messages between Makan Delrahim, the Justice Department’s top antitrust official, and DISH Chairman Charlie Ergen will play.

One text message reportedly showed Delrahim advising Ergen to have his “Senator friends” contact FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to bolster the deal’s chances with the agency. Both the Justice Department and FCC have approved the deal.

“It wouldn’t be unprecedented if the merger were to get blocked by the district court, but I do expect it to go through despite even some of the unflattering or unexpected text messages,” Struble said in an interview.

Still, Struble acknowledged that the text messages “could undercut a bit of the authority, or the deference that the judge would otherwise give to the DOJ and the FCC’s judgment here.”

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