t-mobile pink t logo at mwc 2019

According to a new report from Bloomberg, the U.S. Department of Justice could have a very specific — and outrageous — demand in mind before it will approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The rumor stems from an unidentified “person familiar with the matter.”

This anonymous source claims that the DOJ will demand that T-Mobile and Sprint create a fourth carrier in order to win government approval for their merger. In other words, to get the deal approved, T-Mobile and Sprint would combine (reducing the Big Four carriers to just the Big Three), and then create a new company — with its own network and everything.

It’s going from Big Four to Big Three and then back to Big Four again, which doesn’t make much sense.

t-mobile pink t logo at mwc 2019
T-Mobile is quietly testing its 5G network in New York City

This rumored demand puts the T-Mobile-Sprint merger in a near-impossible situation. How could the two companies create a new company — with its own network — that would compete with Verizon, AT&T, and the “new” T-Mobile? How can you create a company that would compete with your own company? Why would the DOJ think that would be a good idea?

If this demand is true, this would be a new burden for the “new” T-Mobile on top of its other burden: selling off the Sprint-owned Boost Mobile to get the deal approved.

Granted, this is just a rumor at this point. However, if it is true, the T-Mobile-Sprint merger would likely not get approved, as this seems like far too daunting of a task for T-Mobile to actually consider.

NEXT: T-Mobile Sprint merger: Everything you need to know