The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday formally approved the $26.5 billion merger of Sprint and T-mobile. 

The FCC said that it believes the merger "will help close the digital divide and advance United States leadership in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity."

T-mobile and Sprint have committed within three years to deploy 5G service to cover 97% of Americans and to cover 99% of all Americans within six years. The companies also pledged to ensure that 90% of Americans have access to mobile service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps within six years. 

The FCC said the approval was conditional on these commitments, and there could be fines reaching more than $2 billion if these commitments aren't met. 

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The wireless merger still faces opposition from a coalition of state attorneys general, who argue the deal is bad for competition. The companies likely won't be able to merge while litigation persists.

T-Mobile said late last week that it expects the combination with Sprint to close next year. 

T-Mobile and Sprint announced their deal in April 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

T Mobile Sprint Antitrust Lawsuit
FILE - In this April 27, 2010 file photo, a woman using a cell phone walks past T-Mobile and Sprint stores in New York. Published reports say a group of state attorneys general are planning a lawsuit to block a $26.5 billion merger of wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint. It’s an unusual step ahead of a decision by federal antitrust authorities. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
AP