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Sprint, T-Mobile Shares Fall Due to Doubt Concerning Merger

Shares of Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. fell Wednesday on a report that the U.S. Justice Department’s staff recommends suing to block the telecommunications companies’ planned merger.

The staff’s opposition, reported by Reuters, may influence the opinion of the department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, who has the ultimate say on whether to oppose the $26.5 billion deal. Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that Delrahim is leaning against the transaction, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Sprint fell as much as 4.2% in New York trading Wednesday, while T-Mobile fell as much as 1.2%.

Opposition by the Justice Department, which may take as much as a month to decide its recommendation, would be a rare break with the Federal Communications Commission. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Monday that he would recommend approval of the deal after the companies offered a package of concessions.

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