California Public Utilities Commission to review T-Mobile-Sprint merger

tmobilesprintmerger

The proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint is currently being reviewed by the FCC and DoJ, but those aren’t the only groups that want to take a closer look at the deal.

The California Public Utilities Convention (CPUC) has revealed that it wants to hold hearings to learn more about the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. Public participation hearings will be held in November and December, followed by an evidentiary hearing Feb. 6-9, opening comments by May 10, and reply comments by May 24. The CPUC aims to have a decision regarding its review of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger by June.

The group says that it wants to determine if the merger is in the public interest of the residents of California. According to The Deal, hearings like these are uncommon and may indicate that the CPUC will give the T-Mobile-Sprint merger “rigorous scrutiny.”

The issues that the CPUC will consider during its review include:

  • 1. Would the merger result in reduced competition in any metropolitan area or other geographically distinct market for wireless services?
  • 2. What are the relevant markets?
  • 3. Would the merger give the merged company monopsony power or increase the tendency to monopsony power including market power over equipment suppliers?
  • 4. What merger-specific and verifiable efficiencies would be realized by the merger?
  • 5. Would the merger promote or constrain innovation?
  • 6. How would the merger affect the market for special access services?
  • 7. How would the merger affect the market for special access backhaul services?
  • 8. How would the merger affect the ability of independent competitive wireless carriers to obtain backhaul services?
  • 9. Would the merger increase the market power of the incumbent local exchange carriers and their wireless affiliates?
  • 10. Would the merger maintain or improve the quality of service to California consumers?
  • 11. What California utilities would operate the merged properties in the state?
  • 12. Would the merger preserve the jurisdiction of the commission to effectively regulate those utilities and their operations in California?
  • 13. Would the benefits of the merger likely exceed its detrimental effects?
  • 14. Should the commission impose conditions or mitigation measures to prevent significant adverse consequences and, if so, what should those conditions or measures be?

The CPUC went on to shed more light on the issues that it’ll consider while reviewing the proposed merger:

“Obtaining satisfactory answers to the above questions will require consideration of multiple factual issues. These include, but are necessarily limited to, issues related to innovation, service quality, customer satisfaction, pricing policies, pre-paid services, wholesale markets, the roll-out of 5G services (particularly in rural markets), system integration, device compatibility, customer migration, net neutrality, customer privacy and mandatory arbitration clauses. Accordingly, evidentiary hearing is needed on these issues.”

The FCC recently paused its 180-day shot clock on its review of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, saying that it needs more time to receive all of T-Mobile and Sprint’s documents and review them. T-Mobile and Sprint have said that they expect their merger to close no later than the first half of 2019, but it’s unclear how things like this CPUC review and the FCC’s continued shot clock delay might impact the merger and its schedule.

Via: FierceWireless
Source: The Deal

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  • Hurlamania

    Well I guess if they have to rely on this hearing it’s going to be past June before anything happens I actually think things aren’t looking good for the merger as they were when it was first imagined with all the T-Mobile doing with its plans it looks bad for the customer if the merger happens and they’re not being very clear on several issues

    • slybacon

      I don’t think the real federal government will pay any attention to this. Just my un-educated opinion. California thinks they are the federal government.

      • SirStephenH

        No, only people like you believe that California thinks it is the federal government.

        • slybacon

          So, the other 49 states? If you live outside of California, you’d know.

      • Roderick Knighten

        We don’t think we’re the Feds. We just do our own thing, 12 other states follow , and congress makes it law.

        • slybacon

          What other states’ governments follow Cal’s? Do you have an example of how other states are following California?

        • Roderick Knighten

          Case and point: Car Emissions. CARB has the authority to Set tailpipe emission standards in California; the only state level agency allowed to do so as it was created before the EPA. In the beginning we had 49 state cares and 50 state cars. As of 2009 14 other states have adopted CARB standards; they no longer make 49 state cars

        • slybacon

          Carb was established before the EPA and at the time was granted some authority for their state. Obama have them authority in 2012 to set their own emissions standards. The feds are now looking to revoke that authority.
          Isn’t the Honda Clarity a 1-state car (a non-49 state car)?
          And speaking of air quality, thanks for all your wildfire smoke this year throughout the mountain west. All of your environmentalists that protected the trees and banned deforestation have allowed fuel to grow unchecked and caused the deadliest and largest wildfires in Cal history. Keep that up.

        • Roderick Knighten

          Keep your facts straight. The Clean Air Act stipulates that California can request a waiver from the EPA to set more stringent emission standards to meet its unique air quality challenges and as long as it is the benefit of public health the EPA must grant the waiver. They would have to repeal the Clean AIr Act to revoke CA’s waiver.
          The Honda Clarity is a 50 state car. If it meets CA emission it meets federal emissions. It was only sold in CA because it’s a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. No other state has the refueling infrastructure

        • slybacon

          So what Obama granted in 2012 was that waiver? Now the feds are looking to retract that waiver?
          Life is complicated and expensive in Cal!!!! Phew.

        • Roderick Knighten

          Obama’s EPA granted the waiver (as the EPA is required by Federal Law to do) and let CARB collaborate with The EPA on setting tailpipe emission standards. The current administration wants to revoke CAs waiver because even if he successfully rolls back the federal standards CA will march along and set them as CA emission as the waiver grants them the ability to do.

        • Roderick Knighten

          14 other states have adopted CARB tail pipe emission standards over the less stringent ones set by the EPA. When’s the last time you’ve seen a 49 or 50 state car?

        • slybacon

          Uh, the Honda Clarity is a 1-state car.
          Some CARB requirements are more stringent over EPA. And some EPA requirements are more stringent over CARB. Depends on the class of engine.

  • William Moore

    Does the CPUC even have regulatory authority to affect the merger?

    • pdoobs

      none, not even sure why this post needed to be published

      • Roderick Knighten

        It actually does. As the Name implies the California Public Utilities Commission has the legal authority to regulate ALL utilities that operate within the State of California.

        • npaladin2000

          I’m sure that’s fine, Sprint/T-Mobile will just operate in the other 49 states if you guys insist on trying to run all 50.

        • slybacon

          I wonder if they considered this in their investigation… “If we say the merged company can’t operate in our state, will this decrease competition having only two wireless carriers?”

        • npaladin2000

          Of course not. because if they state that the merged company can’t operate in the People’s Republic, then of course the merger will not be able to happen because they have thusly declared it.

          I actually dare them to delcare the combined Sprint/T-Mobile company PNG in California.I want to see how happy they are when the entity pulls out and they’re left with AT&T and Verizon, who they love so much. Then again, I doubt they’ve even thought of that unthinkable possibility.

  • riverhorse

    Insightful comments before me. The Kountry of Kalifornia looking to pass even more kooky laws intended to scrape even more regulatory and blackmail approval fees. After all, it has to scrape the tons of public poop of the largest drug addicted, unwilling to work populace in the country….and taxes are at the highest possible already. Car emissions are low, but people emissions are high.

    • Roderick Knighten

      Please explain what kooky laws California is trying to pass by having its Utilities Commission investigate a utility?
      Furthermore West Virgina is the most drug addicted state and has the highest rate of opioid deaths, Alaska has the highest rate of unemployment in the country. National average is 3.7%, it’s 4.3% in CA and 6.1% in AK. And while California May have some of the highest income tax rates in the country, it also has the highest median income of all 50 states.
      You’re welcome for the cleaner air.

      • slybacon

        If they aren’t going to pass any new laws, why are they wasting money on an investigation??? Oh, right, cause that’s what California does; waste tax money. “Let’s investigate this merger, but do nothing about it afterwards..” – California

        • Roderick Knighten

          The DOJ and FCC are both investigating this merger with no intention of passing new laws. Does that mean that they’re wasting money too?
          You don’t have to pass new laws to block a merger that’s not how regulatory agencies work.

        • slybacon

          Do you think Cali will block it if the federal government allows it?
          Why would Cali “decrease competition” in their state/country by blocking two carriers from operating there?
          If Cali tries to block it, the federal government will sue them, just like they are doing over Cali’s own “Net Nutrality” laws right now.

        • Roderick Knighten

          That’s not how anti-trust works. If CA comes out in opposition of the merger it eithers submits an amicus curie to the court a on behalf of Justice (if Justice decides to oppose the Merger ) or it flies a motion first for an injunction to block the merger in federal court and then it has to petition the court to allow it argue the case on behalf of Justice and the United States as it’s doing in the ACA suit against the individual mandate that Texas’ AG is leading on.

  • npaladin2000

    Once again, the People’s Republic of Califorina trying to run the rest of the country as it’s benevolent dictators. Can we seccede from them?

    • Roderick Knighten

      You mean the California that produces 13% of this Country’s economic output? The California that provides 2/3 of the fruits and nuts and 20% of the milk consumed in the United States.
      The California that pays the most federal taxes of any state? For every dollar the Feds collect only .78 cents is spent in California. So the better question is; Can we secede from you?

      • npaladin2000

        “The California that provides 2/3 of the fruits and nuts”

        Yes, that California.

        There’s only one state that gets less back in Federal taxes than CA. That would be NY. My state, So you get no sympathy from me. Feel free to seccede and stop trying to run our state for us.

        • Roderick Knighten

          Lol. Feel free to stop copying everything that CA does anytime you want us to ‘stop trying to run your state for you.’
          NY is under no obligation to follow and adopt CARB rules, join with our AG in suits against the federal government, or mimic us in anyway. Barking up the wrong tree.

        • slybacon

          Haha there are a lot of fruity and nutty people produced in Taxifornia.

          If Taxifornia secedes (you guys are all spelling it wrong) from the United States, we will just tax them 50% on all those imported goods :) Give them a taste of their own medicine.

          It costs $2,085 to rent a 26′ U-Haul truck to move from San Francisco to Las Vegas. It only costs $174 to rent a U-Haul from Las Vegas to San Francisco. People leaving in droves.

        • Roderick Knighten

          Taxing imported goods would only make them more expensive for you. All the produce you’re used to enjoying on your table would cost 50% more. Only hurts you as most of the stuff CA grows can only be reliably grown in CA.
          And of course things are going to be outrageously expensive in San Fransisco. That’s one of the most, if not the most , expensive metro areas in the country. Silicon Valley has made the Bay Area quite unaffordable to anyone not making 6 figures a year.

        • slybacon

          Only initially. Then I’ll start a business in the 49 United States and undercut the Country of California by 25% and still make 25% more profit. See how capitalism works?

          Also, I have my own garden and produce my own produce. I’m well on my way to a billion dollar company ;)

        • Roderick Knighten

          Hahah that’s hilarious. Considering that CA has 300+ sunny days a year and a moderate climate year round, making for the best weather in the US, I have just two questions.
          Where do you plan on growing all this produce and raising all these cows at? And
          Is this before or after you ruin the environment through over reliance on Fossil Fuels?
          I hope you really like rice and wheat.

        • slybacon

          Haha you really do think California is king. Consider this: the largest cattle ranch in the United States is in Florida, called Deseret Ranches. There are other large ranches in Texas and New Mexico that dwarf California’s. California doesn’t even make the top 10 in the world.

          And don’t tell me California has electric tractors tilling up the ground on all your “massive” farms…

        • Roderick Knighten

          Farm size isn’t everything. Farms in California are vastly more productive per sq ft than in other states. California farms produce more than Texas and Florida combined. California is king of agriculture.

        • slybacon

          You need to look up the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report on prime farm land. Only the Central Valley of Cal has Prime farm land. The mid west has much more than Cal. Barely any prime farm land in Cal, comparatively.
          I’m sure the California Department of Ag has a different report, though.

        • Roderick Knighten

          You’re missing the point. The Midwest may have more prime farmland but California is still more productive per square foot. What does it matter if you have 100 acres and I have 10 if I can grow 3 times what you can. You don’t just put seeds in the ground and water them. Climate soil composition elevation pollution all of these things affect crop yeilds. Most produce items are not cold weather plants. Can’t grow oranges in Tennessee or avocados in Ohio. So I hope you like wheat.

        • slybacon

          You’re saying California can grow 3000% more of anything on the same amount of land as anywhere else? (300%/(1/10)). That’s impressive. It’ll be a shame when Cal slides off into the ocean.
          Does avocado come from California? That must be why it’s so damn expensive. I don’t eat it anyway.
          The south is much bigger than the middle of California. Much bigger. I’ll get my oranges from there and my cows from there, and wheat too.

        • Roderick Knighten

          Did the exaggeration really need to be pointed out as such? It clearly was not real world Numbers. From a Slate Article on the subject:
          “No other state, or even a combination of states, can match California’s output per acre. Lemon yields in California, for example, are more than 50 percent higher than in Arizona. California spinach yield per acre is 60 percent higher than the national average.”
          You would suffer long term without California; you can’t eat cotton.

        • slybacon

          All you are saying is Cal can grow produce more efficiently. All I’m saying is the rest of the country produces way more than Cal alone.
          From Orange County Register:
          “California produces 13 percent of the total cash agricultural receipts for the U.S.“
          That’s great. They also have 12% of the population of the USA. So, the other 87% produced comes from the other 88% of the people in the USA. Seems like we will be fine without that avacado.

        • Roderick Knighten

          Ah you are warping those numbers to paint a not so true story. From your same USDA Study:
          “California, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Nebraska are the five States with the highest value of crop sales. With its large horticultural sector, California?s overall crop value of more than $30 billion in 2012 is about 75 percent higher than that of Iowa, the second-ranked State. In contrast to California, crop values in the next four leading States derive from grains and oilseeds, particularly corn and soybeans. For other crops, Washington State typically leads the country in apple production, while Florida is the largest producer of oranges.”
          From mother jones:
          “California’s agricultural abundance includes more than 400 commodities. The state produces nearly half of U.S.-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables. Across the nation, U.S. consumers regularly purchase several crops produced solely in California”
          “Significantly, California is the only state in the nation to export the following commodities: 100 percent of the almonds, artichokes, dates, dried plums, figs, garlic, kiwifruit, olives, pistachios, raisins and walnuts”
          And back to the Slate Article:
          California produces a sizable majority of many American fruits, vegetables, and nuts: 99 percent of artichokes, 99 percent of walnuts, 97 percent of kiwis, 97 percent of plums, 95 percent of celery, 95 percent of garlic, 89 percent of cauliflower, 71 percent of spinach, and 69 percent of carrots.
          You’re welcome.

        • slybacon

          How can Cal only sell 13% of all revenue of crops and the rest of the US takes the other 87% of revenue, but somehow Cal produces 90% of everything?? Is Cal giving it away for free? Or are other states’ businesses just better at making money?

        • Roderick Knighten

          90% of Friuits and Vegtables. Fresh Produce. It all comes from California.
          Also the Rest of the US isn’t the rest of the World.

        • slybacon

          Nobody said anything about the rest of the world. We are only comparing the 50 United States.
          So, 90% of 13% (11.7%) is the percentage of fruits and vegitables revenue from Cal alone. 10% of 87% (8.7%) is the fruits and vegitables revenue from the rest of the 49 United States. Great, Cal wins. Got it.
          100%-11.7%-8.7% leaves 79.6% of all US crop revenue coming from something other than fruits and vegitables. What do you think brings in so much money?

        • SirStephenH

          San Francisco is also one of the highest paid cities in America so it mostly works out even in the end.

        • Danger_Citizen

          To add a bit further to how bad it is up there, any household making 117,000 a year and below are considered poor.

        • SirStephenH

          Like most blue states, California recieves a net LOSS in tax revenue from the federal government.

      • Jay Holm

        Actually if you were to Google it, you would find out that there is extreme poverty in California, and feces, yes that’s right feces on the streets of SF!!!!

        • slybacon

          I’ve been reading those articles, too. :/

        • Jay Holm

          Exactly…

        • Roderick Knighten

          You can find cases of poverty in all 50 states. All of California’s problems just seem outsized because no other state even comes close to having 40million people living in it.

        • npaladin2000

          But California is supposed to be the People’s Socialist Paradise in the USA. So there really shouldn’t be any starving people or feces if you guys are so wonderful.

        • Roderick Knighten

          1. You’re using that word wrong. A highly regulated market, moderate taxation and a social safety net do not equal socialism.
          2. The United States has never Operated a pure capitalist economy.
          3. CA isn’t perfect and has never claimed to be.

        • g2a5b0e

          Sometimes I wonder why you even bother to comment, because you say things that are so mind-numbingly dumb that it’s unbelievable. Poverty is in every state in the country, but the percentage of it in many southern states dwarfs what you would find in California. I’m not even going to address the second part of your comment. Your ignorance knows no bounds.

        • Tony Chen

          jay is right people shitrs out in streets in california, you have homeless from skid row all the way to bart train station. in bart train station that is where all the drugs and needles are.

        • g2a5b0e

          I didn’t say he wrong, but tell what me what big city doesn’t have homeless people, crap, & drugs? You can’t single out one place for that when it’s everywhere.

      • SirStephenH

        California’s also the fifth largest economy worldwide, beating out every nation but the U.S. (which it is a part of), China, Japan, and Germany.

  • james

    Can’t stand California.

    • slybacon

      I call it Taxifornia now.

    • Ver

      Love California .

  • james

    It’s a good deal what you go through there’s no reason why it shouldn’t then they can start tackling Verizon and AT&T

    • Roderick Knighten

      Because another ATT/Verizon is exactly what we want to avoid. That duoply didn’t just become to be due to them being better. They bought out or merged with all the competiton. Ever since Att was broken up it’s been steadily recombining all the pieces back so that now half of it is ATT and the other half is Verizon.

      • Chloe

        This isn’t the same situation

        • Roderick Knighten

          How is it any different? Both T-Mobile and Sprint have been making the same kind of moves that ATT/Verizon are. Consolidation through mergers and acquisitions. Additionally Sprint is a baby bell

        • Chloe

          They don’t have the inheritance the big two did.

        • Roderick Knighten

          Yeah they do. Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank are among the largest and most profitable carriers In their home markets.

        • npaladin2000

          THey don’t have the inheritance the big two did. Specifically the huge swaths of low-band 850 MHz spectrum that AT&T and Verizon were given for free.

        • Roderick Knighten

          Sprint is sitting on enormous swaths of high band spectrum which will be vital for a data intensive future. Sprint is also a tier 1 ISP and it’s networks make up part of the Internet Backbone.

        • npaladin2000

          That’s not an inheritance. They paid for it. They’re sitting on it because it’s.not cost effective to develop. Let me guess, you guys in the People’s Republic will mandate they develop it at a whopping loss in order to approve the merger? Now the endgame makes a little more sense.

        • Roderick Knighten

          Sprint is a baby bell. Sprint, like ATT inc. /Verizon , only exists because ATT co. got broken up in the 80s.
          The root of their telecom holdings empire is an inheritance.

        • npaladin2000

          Sprint is not a Baby Bell. GTE was. Until Verizon bought the Baby Bell portion of GTE.

        • Roderick Knighten

          1. Sprint recieved just as big a public subsidy as ATT/Verizon. The name Sprint is Derived from Southern Pacific Communications Company a Division of the Southern Pacific Company which operated the Southern Pacific Railroad. The pacific railroad act of 1862 GAVE Southern Pacific a land grant and right of way on land stretching from the Missouri River to California. Additionally it allowed Southern Pacific to secure funding to build the railroad vía US Govt secured bonds with 6% interest. It was in the right of way for the railroads that Sprint’s original network was built.
          2. GTE Merged with Sprint in 1982 and wasn’t divested until 2008. Sprint only divested it’s wireline operations (POTS, copper lines) and kept all wireless assets.
          3. GTE is the reason why Sprint has a nation wide PCS network as GTE was a recipient of the original A/B 800mHz Cellur services spectrum licenses.

  • Jay Holm

    California? Umm….screw you California, there is this entity called the FCC, it is their job, and their job alone to approve mergers!!!

    • Roderick Knighten

      That’s not quite true. Justice holds primary jurisdiction over mergers as they are the federal bureaucracy tasked with enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The CPUC like the FCC only retains secondary jurisdiction over this particular merger because Utilities are involved. And even then the FCC still shares regulatory authority with the States.

      • Jay Holm

        So any news on the DOJ approving as of yet?