Several U.S. senators ask FCC and DOJ to begin investigating potential T-Mobile-Sprint merger

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Hot on the heels of a report that claimed that T-Mobile and Sprint are hammering out the final details of a merger, several senators have penned a letter asking for an investigation into the two carriers.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN), and seven other senators have written a letter urging the FCC and DOJ to investigate the potential impact of a T-Mobile-Sprint merger. “A combination of T-Mobile and Sprint could raise significant antitrust issues and could harm consumers,” Klobuchar explains. “Competition among four major cell phone carriers has benefited consumers with lower prices, better service, and more innovation. We are concerned that consolidation will thwart those goals.”

Klobuchar says that while no deal has been officially announced, T-Mo and Sprint have tried to merge in the past, and reports suggest that they’re close to a deal. Starting an investigation now, Klobuchar argues, will help the FCC and DOJ to quickly and fully review the agreement between T-Mobile and Sprint if one is announced.

This letter was also signed by Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

Reports have suggested that T-Mobile and Sprint are nearing the final stretch of their merger talks and that a deal could be announced by the end of October. Such a deal would be subject to regulatory approval, and while some have suggested that the current administration would be more favorable to a T-Mobile-Sprint merger than the previous one, it looks like this group of senators wants to make sure that the agreement and its potential effects are fully considered.

You can read the senators’ full letter at the link below.

Source: U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar

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  • John Doe

    All democrats LoL looks like this merger is going to go through folks.

    • dcmanryan

      Die hard Republican here and this deal is good for no one. Less competition is never a good thing.

      • gg555

        Then you need to call your Republican representatives in Congress and the White House, if you want to see this deal die. Because without Republicans expressing concern about the deal, it probably will go through.

      • tendoboy1984

        Look at the smartphone industry. Everyone is focused on Apple and Samsung while all other OEM’s are left fighting for scraps. Most consumers don’t care about non-Apple or Samsung devices. All this competition is proving fruitless when the two top players make all the profit.

  • STARK11

    Nicely written. I agree with everything they said. I don’t like libs but this I agree with

  • HM

    This deal will screw all current tmobile customers as well as half sprint customers. It needs to be stopped.

    • Mike

      How will this screw current customers when you’re grandfathered in your plan. If anything it will help current customers with better coverage.

      • STARK11

        People leave sprint cause of their crappy coverage. It won’t get better.

  • jj201367

    Nooooo

  • Joe2050

    The sad thing is the GOP controls both chambers of congress through gerrymandering, so this deal may happen as much as we don’t want it to, the odds are stacked against the consumer.

    • Mike Thaler

      No consumer protection left. Net neutrality is going. The new FCC chairman is buddies w. Sprint’s main owner.

    • DHar Harr

      Well, they obviously can’t get a healthcare bill passed, so…

      Who will be the McCain for the carrier industry?

      • John Doe

        This is up to the FCC and DOJ not congress so congress can whine all they want if the FCC and DOJ say yes then it is done.

        • Nearmsp

          FCC chair is not a Democrat appointee. He is a political hack for Trump – Commissioner Pai. He will give some intellectual cover for the merger. Mr. Son of Softbank has already paid his to Trump at his towers and showered praise on Trump.

        • STARK11

          That’s policitics. Just like hillarys would have been in there. Nobody really cares about us. It’s all about dollars and votes

  • StankyChikin

    My question is who is dumping what? DT dumping T-Mobile? or is Soft Bank dumping Sprint?

    • Captain Insano

      I don’t think dt would get rid of tmo now that it’s making them better money. Soft bank messed up by helping sprint not sink. Sprint is the worst company I’ve seen in a long time.

    • dcmanryan

      It’s been said in countless articles T-Mobile would own the majority stake and it will stay T-Mobile.

      • StankyChikin

        We’ve been reading these countless articles for years. I’ll believe it when it happens.

        • dcmanryan

          Hopefully it’s shutdown and we never find out.

    • Nearmsp

      Sprint is merging with T-mobile and German DT (parent of T-mobile USA) will be the majority owner. Japanese Soft Bank also gets some cash from T-mobile for giving up control. End result one less competitor and T-mobile will not need to give that deep discounts and all 3 (AT&T, Verizon, T-mobile) will make good money.

      • tendoboy1984

        T-Mobile never focuses on Sprint when they bash the competition. It’s always Verizon this Verizon that. I don’t think T-Mobile will change anytime soon.

  • riverhorse

    Notice it’s only the Far, Far Left that’s concerned about the potential Sprint-T-Mobile merger.
    It claims it wants to protect the public.
    Yet it is not worried that the second most inexpensive carrier is in danger of going under.
    And it does not want to make things easy for the most inexpensive carrier to continue its business model AND allow offering it to larger segment of the population. Because the only other logical way T-Mobile can overcome its lack of coverage WHILE not getting its stock price hammered(and thus go out of business), is to simply raise prices as needed for the expensive tower build out.
    Don’t forget that the two other large carriers, entrenched former Ma / Baby Bells that don’t suffer T-Mobile’s extensive coverage gaps, are also in the process of enabling other bands.
    It would not take much for something to happen where T-Mobile bleeds customers to the Other Two, then for the kiss of death Wall Street hammers its stock price.
    Presto, only Verizon and AT&T left.
    But this has always been Liberal’s main problem. They have no desire, or clue how to run a business, not even basic accountancy principles…and businesses are evil. So let the discounts and giveaways generate out of thin air…and eventually out of the pockets of the very consumers they were claiming to protect.

    • Jerry Rich

      Your incoherent diatribe make less sense than Trump’s tweets.

      • riverhorse

        1. Spellcheck your post.
        2. Take a Miss Manners course.

        • Dummy Up Meathead

          Yet, Jerry is correct.

    • Nearmsp

      An open and competitive market is the basis of a capitalistic system – a market economy. A monopoly or a duo poly or concentrated market is either a communist system or a crony capitalistic system. So this is not about the left or right. It is plain and simple Crony capitalism at work. Mr. Son is being bailed up for making a lemon of investment in Sprint. This is to make soft bank whole, nothing more.

      • tendoboy1984

        The entire smartphone industry is basically a duopoly between Apple and Samsung, with everyone else fighting for scraps.

  • NardVa

    Wouldn’t be surprised if these politicians have a history of receiving donations from AT&T and Verizon. When has politicians ever cared about the interest of the consumer? There’s a lot more important things for politicians to worry about than my cell phone bill. How about these same politicians show an interest in protecting the public from price gauging by the medical industry.

    • Nearmsp

      Verizon would love it if there are less number of competitors. Likewise AT&T. Democrats care for the poor and consumers. Republicans care for the 1%. See the tax cut plan of the Republicans. Removing estate duty for those with over $5.5 million when they die. How many Americans would have that kind of money?

      • Trevnerdio

        You actually believe that either one cares for the lil guy? Lol not a chance.

  • Kenneth Warner

    I believe this would bring even better competition as it would make att & Verizon be even more competitive and really have good low priced plans

    • dcmanryan

      ….Or it would make TMobile less competitive and we would not see the deals we’ve seen in the past. Competition is always in the consumers, AKA you and I’s, best interest. Look at how aggressive Sprint has been with plans and phone deals. You can bet 100% that will be gone with the merger. Look at the competition in the streaming market right now. There’s so many choices that DirecTV and Comcast have changed their entire business model and have been forced to offer other options or slowly sink.

    • Nearmsp

      AT&T and Verizon are lying low only due to T-mobile. Once T-mobile merges with Sprint you can bet that all the 3 majors will make money. Less competition always means more prices for consumers.

  • gg555

    Given that all of the objecting Senators are Democrats and that we now have an extremely anti-regulation pro-business Republican administration that only cares about corporate profits and not consumers and given that the FCC and the DOJ are being run by people who are corrupt and incompetent, I think this deal has a much better chance of getting approved than past attempts. I won’t be surprised to see it go through.

    People who live in states with Republican Senators need to start calling them up and complaining about this deal, if they want to see is quashed. If you don’t like this deal and you vote Republican, call the White House too.

    • Nearmsp

      I would not call Republicans Pro-business. I would say they are crony capitalists doing the bidding for those with cash to fund their election funds.

    • Joe

      You are really gullible aren’t you. Republicans and democrats these days are for the most part very similar in their principle beliefs. When it comes to businesses both have are crony capitalists especially the democrats. Why do you think most large corporations support democrat’s?

      • gg55592

        You’re really ignorant, aren’t you. Democrats have a long record, including recently, of being more willing to pursue anti-trust issues than Republicans. There’s a reason a lot of these deals got killed during the Obama administration and before him a lot of them went through under Bush. Just because Democrats also take money from many of the same businesses, does not mean they are identical in their policies to Republicans. It is precisely this sort of nihilistic false equivalence (they’re all the same!) that makes ignorant people unable to make judgments about the differences between politicians. Indeed, large corporations and wealthy individuals give far far more money to Repubicans than Democrats, because they know they will get more favorable policies from them. They just also give some money to Democrats (playing both sides) because if the Democrats win an election they still want to have access (better to have some say with a politican you do not prefer, than no say). Anyway, I don’t expect nihilistic people who love to say everything is the same, everyone is equally corrupt, to understand these sorts of complexities and nuances.

      • Haze1nut

        You are really either gullible, ignorant, or naive, aren’t you. Unfortunately im betting it’s all 3 in 1.

  • samsung freud

    I’m praying that they bring Carly back

  • andrew bayne

    All this talk of less competition I get, but the fact is there will soon be 3 major carriers left regardless. Sprint is on the verge of bankruptcy. I believe it’s better that T-Mobile gets Sprint and all their assets now then to have Sprint go bankrupt and their assets go to AT&T and Verizon. So regardless if they merge or not, Sprint’s demise is coming. Son has been trying to sell off Sprint all year to different cable companies and only T-Mobile has shown real interest. Legere has changed the wireless market for the better for we the customers and I don’t see him stopping once he has Sprint under his control. T-Mobile’s competition has always been “Dumb & Dumber” AKA AT&T & Verizon.

    • Joe

      OMG we found someone with a brain that understands the potential of sprint going bankrupt and we will anyway end up with three carriers anyway. Why not atleast get 3 good carriers that can compete.

      • Acdc1a

        Equally important, the FCC will require enough spectrum be divested that there should be an auction dedicated to non carriers that may just create a 4th again eventually.

    • moonoverparma

      I agree. This is the best thing for Sprint.

    • (J²)

      I’m sure they’d prefer smaller carrier or another entity acquire one of the major 4 carriers to avoid further consolidation. Because eventually, the industry will be driven by the major 3 and if T-Mobile decides to change its tune, we will be screwed as consumers… forever.

      Remember, Sprint has ALWAYS played both sides… This is part of the reason they are failing now! They have failed to pick a direction and a customer base and stick with it.

  • jetscreamer01

    We know Ajit “lap dog” Pai has already gave two thumbs up in a circle to this merger.

    • Jay Holm

      “Ajit Pai”?????? Huh???

      • Haze1nut

        Chairman of the FCC? Never heard of him?

  • tendoboy1984

    I consider myself a Democrat and I’m fine with this merger. T-Mobile will get Sprints’ customers, spectrum, and large phone selection; customers will get more devices to buy instead of just the usual Apple/Samsung/LG.

    • MagicMiguel

      However, there may be less incentive for all three to compete. In a country this size, each one could be fine with 1/3rd of the pie. The disruption we’re enjoying right now, mainly driven by T-Mobile’s desire to attract customers, will likely slow down or stop once they acquire all of Sprint’s customers. Search for a study that was done in Canada (which also has only 3 wireless carriers). Their findings were that Canada has some of the highest wireless rates in the world and is one of the slowest countries to deploy the latest technologies.

    • (J²)

      T-Mobile and Sprint are in the bottom half and T-Mobile forced Verizon and AT&T to compete by fighting for customers by offering a better value. If (more like when) T-Mobile becomes the top carrier, perhaps the direction may change. Then the carriers will be having a contest to determine who can offer less for more. There will literally be NO ALTERNATIVES then… Almost all the MNVO’s are run by the 4 carriers… So NONE will fill the void. The only possible contender is just TOO SMALL.

      Yes, I can foresee this being a benefit for the short term but 5 to 10 years from now, DT and John Legere may no longer be affiliated with T-Mobile. There’s just no way to predict the direction of the company. We know T-Mobile has a positive impact and good intentions for customers but we also know that leadership changes within companies every so often with success or failure.

      I truly think may people are not considering the fact that companies change.

      Charter Communications (a decent company) acquired Time Warner Cable (a bad company) to form Spectrum which is hands down worse than Time Warner Cable. How? They got what they wanted and now they are essentially unstoppable.