The head of the Federal Communications Commission is formally recommending approval of a deal to merge wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint.

In a statement released Wednesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he has shared a draft order to approve the merger of the third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers in the U.S. in a deal worth $26 billion.

“The evidence conclusively demonstrates that this transaction will bring fast 5G wireless service to many more Americans and help close the digital divide in rural areas,” said Pai in a statement.

Opponents of the merger, including FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, believe the deal with stifle competition in the wireless market.

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“I believe we need more competition, not less,” said Rosenworcel in a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday. “I am not convinced that removing a competitor will lead to better outcomes for consumers.”

Last month, the Justice Department cleared the way for the merger to take place subject to conditions including the sale of Sprint’s Boost Mobile to Dish Network.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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