Washington: US officials came to the defence of T-Mobile US Inc in its fight to buy Sprint Corp, telling a judge overseeing an antitrust lawsuit brought by several states that blocking the merger would harm consumers.

The Justice Department’s antitrust division and the Federal Communications Commission told US District Judge Victor Marrero in a filing on Friday that their approval of the merger, which will set up Dish Network Corp as a new wireless carrier in the market, will benefit the public.

“A nationwide injunction would block not only the transaction, but also the substantial, long-term, and pro-competitive benefits for American consumers the antitrust division and the FCC concluded will flow from the merger and the relief each secured,” they said.

The agencies’ filing comes as the two-week trial in Manhattan over the states’ lawsuit against the wireless merger is nearing an end. The states say the tie-up, which will combine the No. 3 and No. 4 carriers, will eliminate competition between the companies and lead to higher prices.

While the states are challenging the deal, the Justice Department and the FCC approved the merger earlier this year after engineering a remedy that would require the companies to sell assets to Dish allowing it to enter the market and build a new wireless network.

The attorneys general of New York and California, who are leading the lawsuit, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.