• Breaking News

    Sprint stock falls 10% on report T-Mobile merger is unlikely to be approved as currently structured

    The Justice Department is unlikely to approve a planned $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

    Staffers from the Justice Department have reportedly told both carriers that the deal may not be approved under its current structure, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

    Reuters later confirmed the report with one person familiar with the matter, who cautioned that a final decision has not been made.

    Shares of Sprint plunged as much as 12% in after-hours trading following the report, while T-Mobile fell more than 4%.

    A spokesman for Sprint declined to comment to CNBC. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    About a year ago, T-Mobile and Sprint announced they had reached an all-stock stock deal to combine the companies. Shareholders of both companies approved the deal in October, which later received national security clearance.

    But the deal's greatest regulatory hurdle was that it would combine the third- and fourth-largest wireless providers in the U.S., a market with only two other participants: AT&T and Verizon.

    Shares of Verizon slipped about 1% in postmarket trading Tuesday, while AT&T edged 0.6% lower.

    Critics of the merger have argued it would lead to job loss, decreased competition and increased prices for consumers, especially in rural America.

    In February, T-Mobile CEO John Legere defended the deal before Congress, asserting that the deal would create jobs and lower prices.

    Read the full report in The Wall Street Journal.

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