Pennsylvania joins states opposed to merger of T-Mobile, Sprint

FILE PHOTO: A smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration taken April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pennsylvania is joining more than a dozen states that have filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping T-Mobile US’s $26 billion purchase of Sprint, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement on Wednesday.

All told, attorneys general from 17 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to stop the merger, which they argue will lead to higher prices for consumers. The multi-state lawsuit is being led by New York and California.

The U.S. District Court in Manhattan has ordered that the trial be delayed to Dec. 9, a victory for the states, which said they needed more time to investigate the deal.

The Justice Department has signed off on the merger. The Federal Communications Commission has indicated it plans to approve it and has begun the process of formally doing so.

To win those approvals, the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless companies agreed to divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses to satellite television company Dish Network Corp to create a fourth U.S. wireless carrier.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Leslie Adler