WASHINGTON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - U.S. antitrust enforcers are in the early stages of reviewing T-Mobile US Inc’s plan to buy Sprint Corp for $26 billion, and have reached no conclusions on how many wireless carriers the country needs, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Sprint shares were up 9.8 percent at $6.17 and T-Mobile rose 7.3 percent to $66.03 at mid-afternoon, after the New York Post reported that U.S. regulators believed that just three national providers were needed, removing an obstacle to the deal.
The two companies compete against AT&T and Verizon to provide U.S. wireless service.
The source, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record, said “at least” three carriers were needed, and that the report’s assertion that regulators have decided on just three carriers was not entirely accurate.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. T-Mobile and Sprint declined to comment.
Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Richard Chang