The Colorado Attorney General’s office has dropped out of a lawsuit seeking to stop the T-Mobile and Sprint merger in exchange for agreements that guarantee jobs and investment in a 5G network across the state.
Colorado joined a multi-state lawsuit to June to block a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. The Federal Communications Commission last week reportedly approved the $26.5 billion merger.
Colorado has dropped out of that lawsuit in exchange for a deal with Dish Network, which has agreed to put its new wireless network headquarters in Littleton, Colo. and employ 2,000 full-time workers at locations in the state. In an agreement with T-Mobile, the telecommunications corporation agreed to deploy a 5G network across the state with a focus on rural areas.
The agreements address the state’s previous concerns “by guaranteeing jobs in Colorado, a statewide buildout of a fast 5G network that will especially benefit rural communities, and low-cost mobile plans,” Chief Deputy Attorney General Natalie Hanlon Leh said in a statement.
Both corporations would face steep fines if their agreements aren’t upheld. Dish would have to pay up to $20 million in penalties, while T-Mobile would face penalties up to $80 million, if agreements aren’t met.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, who’s facing re-election in 2020, praised the state’s support for the merger in a statement.
“I’m glad the Colorado Attorney General’s office has decided to join me in supporting this merger,” Gardner said. “I’ve been championing support for this merger at the federal level because Colorado would be home to the nation’s 4th major wireless carrier – bringing thousands more jobs to our state. DISH is ready to build a nationwide network and I will continue to support a successful merger.”