FCC begins 180-day shot clock on T-Mobile-Sprint merger, now taking public comments


A milestone in the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint has taken place.

The FCC this week kicked off its 180-day shot clock for reviewing the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. While the FCC will work to complete its review of the merger in this timeframe, it’s not necessarily required to. The FCC can also pause the clock when it feels it’s necessary.

Along with the start of its 180-day shot clock, the FCC this week began taking public comments regarding the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The FCC says that if you’d like to file a petition to deny the merger, your deadline to file is August 27th. Then T-Mobile, Sprint, and others that support the merger can file oppositions to the petitions through September 17th. The final round of replies is due on October 9th.

T-Mobile and Sprint expect their merger to close no later than the first half of 2019. In their support of the $26.5 billion deal, the two companies say they’ll be able to deploy a broad 5G network faster than either carrier could on its own and that AT&T, Verizon, Charter, Comcast, and others will be forced to make investments to compete.

T-Mo and Sprint also claim that their merger will be good for job growth, with plans for $40 billion in investments in its network and business in the first three years. T-Mobile points to its acquisition of MetroPCS, saying that three times the number of people now work at Metro than when T-Mobile acquired the prepaid provider in 2013.

Those that oppose the T-Mobile-Sprint merger have concerns that it would reduce competition by dropping the number of major U.S. carriers from 4 to 3. There are also concerns that the merger could have a negative effect on competition in the prepaid market since T-Mobile owns MetroPCS and Sprint owns Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. Job loss is another concern of the merger’s opponents, and U.S. lawmakers recently said that the merger needs close scrutiny due to Sprint and SoftBank’s ties to Huawei.

If you’d like to submit your own filing to the FCC, you can do so right here. You can view other recent filings here.

Via: Ars Technica
Sources: FCC (1), (2)

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  • pda96

    Ajit rhymes with idjit.

  • James B

    Looked at the filings already done. Surprised to see so many not in favor of the merger.

  • Dummy Up Meathead

    Would be pretty funny if Huawei was the reason the merger didn’t happen.

    • Sayahh

      Lol I literally just saw this right after I wrote my comment. I just needed to scroll down one line lol

  • Joe2050

    I am against the merger. In the long run, they will flip the switch and slowly increase prices and offer less and less. Competition is currently healthy and should stay that way. We are going backwards from Un-carrier to carrier with this merger as your choices will be even further limited.

    • Sharti24

      The merger will happen. What is stopping the Repulican congress from passing it? What will happen to Sprint if they file for bankruptcy? Do you really want Att or Verizon to get their spectrum?

      The logicial choice is the merger will go through. Sprint is at the end of the road and wants out before they go bankrupt. What you’re against doesnt matter versus reality

      • aglee89

        I agree, I don’t like the idea but I would rather T-Mobile be on the receiving end of this spectrum and not AT&T or Verizon. I think Sprint is going to fail at some point, it my as well be to the benefit of T-Mobile customers.

      • Sayahh

        Softbank and its deal with Huawei or whatever?

      • Gardo

        Sprint is not at the end of the road, they have been getting consistent positive results in last few quarters. People have to stop repeating this lie. I’m sending my comment opposing the merger to the FCC, this merger will screw all of us regardless of what John Legere is saying.

        • iCrap

          sorry, but they’re operating at a loss. yoy, they lose money. it’s either sprint goes bankrupt and att/verizon get the spectrum, or they merge with tmo and launch 5g, including home internet service. this is very, very good for the public. also, project fi runs on tmo/sprint. this would be a chance for google to promote their service as an mvno more

        • Mike

          You sound retarded Sprint has been losing alot of money. Sure the last few quarters saw some added customers due to heavy promotions which doesn’t help Sprint get to becoming profitable. Softbank doesn’t wanna spend the money to improve the network like adding Volte and rolling out 5G nationwide since the company will just lose even more money. So why not merge with T-mobile who can use the spectrum to become a real threat to AT&T and Verizon.

    • slybacon

      Do you even consider Sprint an option? Have you ever considered being a Sprint customer over the other 3? And are you currently with T-Mobile?

      • Jay Holm

        Sprint has been bleeding customers for literally a decade, since the Nextel merger, so no, I wouldn’t consider Sprint.
        But I am excited about the combined spectrum of the two companies!!!

      • Joe

        And if you do consider them it might be because they are giving away there service for a loss.

  • I hope this merger goes through tmobile will be so much more reliable with that 850mhz nationwide spectrum and faster with the high bands.

    • SirStephenH

      It won’t really make that much of a difference. Bands 12 and 71 are far better than band 5 and T-Mobile owns at least 20+20MHz combined in every US market. Sprint’s band 5 will add a little bit of capacity in the low-band but do nothing for reliability. Every little bit helps though.

      • Yes it will 5×5 in The woods is shitty

        • SirStephenH

          That’s probably because you’re on band 12 which is 5+5MHz on T-Mobile, but as I said before, T-Mobile owns a minimum of 20+20MHz of low-band (bands 12 and 71) in every US market. Sprint’s crappy band 26 will be of little improvement.

          If your issue is service on the outskirts of coverage then band 26 will be of little use to you do to it being shorter range than T-Mobile’s bands 12 and 71.

  • dcmanryan

    Ads are back in full force with videos playing on every link you click. Sigh…..

    • Sharti24

      Download adguard pro. Works great

      • dcmanryan

        My problem is I like using the Chrome web browser and with all these third party apps I have to use their web browser. Any extension app that works with Chrome?

        • SirStephenH

          AdBlock Plus usually takes care of it on Chrome for PC but Chrome for Android doesn’t support plugins. For Android (and PC) you can use Private Internet Access. PIA is a VPN available for PC and Android that includes a service called PIA MACE that will act as a firewall for ads, blocking them before they reach any app. PIA is $40/year but it’s also the best VPN available.

        • Jason Caprio

          Chrome for PC – Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender
          Android – DNS66

    • SirStephenH

      Irritating, and you close it and another one just pops up in its place.

  • Spin off boost mobile and let them keep metro pcs. Does that make everyone happy?

    • SirStephenH

      Do that and they’d still have a majority of the prepaid market through Virgin Mobile, Assurance Wireless, MetroPCS, and T-Mobile prepaid.

  • slybacon

    Right now, you have two carriers in direct competition with each other (AT&T and Verizon) and two other carriers in direct competition with each other at a lower level (T-Mobile and Sprint). Combining the latter two will create direct competition between 3 carriers and increase overall competition for the now.
    And if T-Mobile’s words remain true about entering the pay-TV market, which I believe they will, then there will be new competition against cable companies. 5G will blur the lines between today’s cell phone carriers and cable providers. They will become combined services and we should see several combined internet/video providers in the 2020’s, creating a total of 4 or 5 nationwide competitors (the cable companies already own tons of spectrum to delivery data and tv wirelessly). Sprint combining with T-Mobile will allow the integration of TV services over 5G into the market much quicker with the spectrum portfolio they’ll have. I think this next phase will start with T-Mobile and push other carriers/pay-tv providers to invest in 5G sooner, which is great for jobs, and consumers.

    • J.J.

      I would say with TMo gaining 1m+ subscribers every quarter for years (taking att and Vz customers by the boat load with the least customer turnover almost every quarter), plus the bigger 2’s feverish attempts to copy TMobile feature rollouts, I contest that TMo keeps vz and att execs up at night from their direct completion. Cable aside I believe the merger will give Tmo the spectrum boost to really match vz/att in coverage (which is great) but i think when the new 3 have similar coverage they will all eventually align prices (high ones) and the only real differentiator will be brand loyalty i.e. my Dodge is better than your Ford as we all get sucked dry!

      • slybacon

        Makes sense!
        Do you believe your Dodge (and Fords and Chevys) are more expensive now because there’s no Datsun anymore?

        • Dummy Up Meathead

          Isn’t Datsun the new Toyota?

        • Mike Thaler

          Datsun was renamed Nissan a few decades ago in the U.S. It was already known as Nissan – 1986.

        • J.J.

          I do actually. New vehicle prices have sky rocketed relative to standard inflation/wages especially if you don’t buy the bare bones base model…. Which who wants that in a vehicle lol(there are nearly $90k dodges.) And thats with a bit more choice in brands. Business is business and if they can get away with squeezing an extra dollar out of you… They will!

        • Acdc1a

          In 1973 $4,500 bought you a standard midsize car. Adjusted for inflation that’s $26,000 today. Your argument doesn’t hold water.

        • J.J.

          Thx for the stat. Kbb shows standard average new car price today is $36,500. Soooo $10,500 over inflation

        • slybacon

          Because of the wants of trucks and SUVs as everyday vehicles. You can still buy Hundai Sonatas for under $15k. But nobody wants those.

        • slybacon

          The key word to everything you just said is “wants.” Demand will drive prices more than anything else. No one would buy a Datsun today. And as you said, no one even wants the base model of trucks today. If nobody bought the $90k trucks, no one would sell them. That’s what happened to Verizon when they started loosing customers; they brought their prices down and still made huge profits.

        • J.J.

          Fair point.

        • marque2

          And Nissan ain’t doing that great either. Your point is well taken though.

  • SirStephenH

    Not like Pai’s FCC would listen to anyone anyways.

  • SirStephenH

    “T-Mobile points to its acquisition of MetroPCS, saying that three times the number of people now work at Metro than when T-Mobile acquired the prepaid provider in 2013.”

    The only reasons for this are that MetroPCS’ brand wasn’t retired and it wasn’t being sold in all markets, something T-Mobile changed when it took over. The Sprint brand will be retired and is already being sold nationwide. T-Mobile will be closing down the Sprint stores, besides a few being rebranded to T-Mobile, because they have a nearly identical nationwide store footprint. There is absolutely no way T-Mobile ends up with more employees than T-Mobile and Sprint combined in three years after the dust settles on this merger.

    • iCrap

      they never said they’ll keep retail jobs, but there will be plenty of jobs for the buildout for 5g

      • SirStephenH

        T-Mobile is talking about permanent jobs. The 5g buildout will happen with or without the merger but the jobs are temporary. That in no way means that T-Mobile will create jobs because of this merger. They hired on people for the LTE buildout too but then those jobs disappeared once the job was completed.

        The combined company will have a large number of employees while they merge the networks but in three years time when the merger is complete, the jobs will disappear.

        • (J²)

          Typically, this would be correct but since T-Mobile has made its interest in competing with cable companies clear and it’s new focus, I think the combined company would end up creating new positions as the roll out completes. Layer 3 was acquired quite some time ago and we haven’t heard much since, that’s likely because of the pressing spectrum issue that not only impacts the existing subscriber base but the companies potential growth.

          If T-Mobile has its way, the company will indeed be reallocating labor and creating skilled jobs. The call centers will continue to grow, that is a given as the subscribers continue to increase BUT with TV and Internet, expect those numbers to at least double.

          We will eventually see the day where Comcast, Spectrum, etc enter the wireless industry and the day when T-Mobile enters the TV and internet industries.

          In the short term, yes many retail and call center jobs (from the Sprint side) will be lost. Even redundant corporate positions will be eliminated entry-level and Intermediate-level positions will be required to support the goals and aspirations of T-Mobile.

          Again, IF this were just a merger to build up T-Mobile’s assets, I’d agree with you 100% as we’ve seen in history many times before.

        • SirStephenH

          They weren’t talking about T-Mobile, Layer3, and Sprint merging and creating more jobs, they were specifically talking about Sprint and T-Mobile merging and creating more jobs which defies logic. Also a company like Layer3 which doesn’t need infrastructure and doesn’t produce content doesn’t require even close to the same sized workforce as the major cable and media conglomerates.

        • (J²)

          Remember the corporate tax cuts that everyone swore wouldn’t lead to jobs, wouldn’t lead to raises, wouldn’t lead to bonuses, etc…. Just remember that “logic”. Hey, I was a doubter as well. Yes, I’m aware that some of the good isn’t attributed to the tax cuts but my point is these corporations can do whatever they want whether it defies your logic or not.

          Just an FYI, successful companies that cut jobs in specific areas typically reallocate those jobs and/or salaries. Again, you may not agree but I am personally involved in this process within the company I work for.

          As for Layer 3, as we’ve seen in the past. This was just an asset grab for T-Mobile to get the ball rolling. The only thing we know is T-Mobile intends to offer TV services. It does not mean it will be remotely close to the defunct product.

          IF, they are going to be selling TV services they will need positions to support it.

          I’ll leave you with your opinion though. No sense debating about something neither of us can prove. Just being somewhat optimistic on the matter.

        • SirStephenH

          I give up. Facts and reality apparently will not sway your indoctrinated opinion.

          The facts are that T-Mobile has already said that it will decommission all of Sprint’s cell locations except a handful of ‘keep’ sites (less sites = less jobs). T-Mobile will also be closing down nearly all of Sprint’s retail locations because they cover the exact same areas, many Sprint and T-Mobile stores are even right next to each other (less locations = less jobs). The one part of the combined business that likely won’t lose jobs is customer service because the overall customer base of the combined company requires it, although the jobs will likely be shuffled around the nation (no change). Nothing about this equals more jobs than the separate companies. Part of the whole point of mergers is to cut back on overall costs and inefficiencies, mainly in the form of jobs.

        • (J²)

          None of the points you made specifically were being challenged so who exactly are you debating with?

          It’s okay, you have to have the last word and be right. I feel like we’ve been in this position before.

          At this point, you want to argue for the sake of arguing and that’s your choice but you will be doing that by yourself.

        • SirStephenH

          YOU have been arguing with every point I’ve made.

          “It’s okay, you have to have the last word and be right.” You say as you try to get in the last word.

          At this point you’re just trolling.

        • (J²)

          At this point, you are just compensating for what you are lacking outside of the Internet.

          Let’s not take jabs…

          I simply gave you an alternative way to think about the situation. You choose to get offended and respond with points that I never disputed…….

        • SirStephenH

          Congratulations, I haven’t blocked any users…until now.
          Goodbye TROLL.

        • Moby

          There are more jobs now in America than there are people to fill them. The employees will get work somewhere else. I think it’s great that T-Mobile will save money by cutting employees and lowering customers’ bills.

        • SirStephenH

          There is not a nation-wide labor shortage, there is in a few small regions but most of the US still has a job shortage.

  • taxandspend

    This merger won’t reduce competition. It will create it.

    • Joe

      Exactly. Alot of people fail to relise that without this merger sprint will eventually get so bad that they will have to be bought or file bankruptcy, and t mobile will continue to be a good carrier but still not quite the Verizon att quality when travailing acrose the country. So this way Tmobile verizon and att will have to really fight it out.

      • taxandspend

        Right now the way I see it is that T-Mobile and Sprint don’t really compete with AT&T and Verizon. They lack the broad coverage of the big two and there is no getting around that currently. People switch because of perks, or price differences, but when you want broad coverage, you need to go with the big two. If T-Mobile were to grow its subscriber numbers to Verizon’s, most likely the experience would be bad. They need the Sprint spectrum, and need to continue to build out the network to compete. The merger will be a step towards actually competing head-on with Verizon and AT&T.

        • Joe

          T-mobile is a good option for many people that don’t do much travailing and I live in places where the population is high but there are not a bunch of huge building like the big city’s (NY city, Chicago etc.) This is a vary large amount of the population. But if they had the same subscribers live Verizon, service would be bad like you said.