(CNN/Gray News) – The head of the Federal Communications Commission has moved to approve T-Mobile's merger with Sprint.
“Today, I circulated an order that would approve, subject to conditions, the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said on Twitter.
“The deal would advance fast #5G across the country, help close #digitaldivide, and put critical mid-band spectrum to use.”
The $26-billion deal is expected to easily pass the Republican majority in the FCC, but it may take time.
Commissioners are permitted to ask for extra time to review proposals, and one democratic commissioner has previously called for additional public input on the matter.
That request could delay the vote for weeks.
Separately, Oregon has joined a multi-state lawsuit to block the merger.
The plaintiffs say the deal will reduce competition and increase prices for cell phone service.
A trial is expected to begin in December.