New York Attorney General has concerns about T-Mobile-Sprint merger’s effect on prepaid market

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The New York Attorney General wants to take a closer look at the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has been investigating the T-Mobile-Sprint merger shortly after it was announced in April and recently stepped up its efforts, according to sources speaking to the New York Post. Underwood has concerns that the merger could result in increase prepaid prices as a result of less competition between MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile after the merger of their owners.

Underwood’s office has reportedly been in talks with executives at similar prepaid wireless companies, asking about their customers and pricing. The New York AG has also recently issued a subpoena seeking materials from T-Mobile related to the merger.

This report also mentions that the Department of Justice has just begin its review of the prepaid markets as part of its examination of the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger and that it hasn’t made any conclusions yet, even preliminarily.

The prepaid market is one of the major points of concern for those opposed to the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. For example, Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton has said that brands like Boost Mobile and MetroPCS are aggressively competing for prepaid customers, but that that competition could go away if T-Mobile and Sprint merge. Public Knowledge CEO Gene Kimmelman also mentioned during a Senate antitrust subcommittee panel that T-Mobile and Sprint’s current prepaid efforts offer the best pricing for consumers in those markets.

T-Mobile has said that if it’s allowed to merge with Sprint, it’ll keep MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile around because each brand targets different types of customers. T-Mo also claims that prepaid customers will get more data for lower prices under the combined T-Mobile-Sprint thanks to “massive capacity” and that the combined company will be able to expand its prepaid offerings.

The prepaid market is important for many consumers because of its pricing and lack of a credit check, so it makes sense that some folks would have reservations about a T-Mobile-Sprint merger that involves three major prepaid brands. T-Mo and Sprint’s proposed merger did recently receive support from TracFone, currently the largest prepaid provider, but we’ll have to wait and see how the FCC and DOJ ultimately feel about the deal.

Source: New York Post

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  • riverhorse

    For the last two decades Democrat NY AGs have done nothing but make things tougher for consumers. The list is long. Banks were sued to disallow funding online horse racing betting at legally licensed sites, NY is also the only state blocking bitcoin, and now this. Add to this the mayor and governor attempting to raise taxes for their pet corrupt and or liberal causes, and this is becoming an unlovable state.

    • KMB877

      Not arguing with you, but I saw a pizza in Brooklyn accepting bitcoin.

      • riverhorse

        Altcoin exchanges accept bank funding and coin trading in 49 states except NY.
        Otherwise, yes- there’s even bitcoin atm’s in NY.
        Between the altcoin restrictions and the non-legalized sports gambling, and the rising state & city taxes, and the decrepit Third World-style transportation, and the psycho / homeless takeover, and uptick in minority crime everywhere in NYC(because the Mayor kowtowed to Sharpton) Jersey here I come.
        Depends on what stage of life one is in whether NYC is suitable. There are still neighborhood oases, and if you just Uber all day it’s ok. But read the neighborhood paper police blotters– upscale gym lockers are atm’s for thieves, so are the upscale restaurants and markets for pickpockets…there are rings of them, well-dressed to blend in and mass steal.

  • bkat11

    I like how NY thinks they now run the country

    • vrm

      I detest how NY & Hollywood believe they run the country by buying DC.

      • bkat11

        #walkaway

  • vrm

    The democrat playbook- shake down businesses for cash.

    The consumer protection bureau started by locohontas did NOTHING for consumers. Instead, they shook down businesses, large and small for cash which they funneled to “NGO”s, which are fronts for democrat party and Soros affiliated organizations. They also caused smaller successful businesses to go under and be swooped up by sharks like Soros.

  • vrm

    Remember, DeBlasio got reelected AFTER a mobster declared he had bought and paid for the mayor of NY in a public courtroom !

    • Francisco Peña

      Its liberal NY..
      anything less would be unexpected

  • Jason Caprio

    “it’ll keep MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile around because each brand targets different types of customers.” Last time I checked, those 3 brands target the same demographic, aka “type of customer”. Low income customers living in densely populated urban areas.

    • riverhorse

      I don’t think you could fine one single Metro customer who would consider Boost & Virgin…even worse equipment, less speeds, more throttling, etc.
      IF Metro stars getting better equipment, as stated, then it becomes more like TMo, but for single, independent people…the latter more for families.
      Boost & Virgin will then be- one for old non-techies, the other for poor in general.
      Anyhow, TMo targets plenty of low income urban…witness the amount of trolling here whenever a special deal ends…and their ads(compare them to Verizon’s).

    • Andrew Leonard

      Metro was an actual carrier before the reverse merger with T-Mobile. I’m afraid you haven’t a clue.

      • Jason Caprio

        I’m well aware that MetroPCS was a regional urban carrier before T-Mobile bought them. I do have a clue.

        • Acdc1a

          I think what he meant was MetroPCS targeted that unlimited user before it’s what all the cool kids did. They were the first to launch a commercial LTE network. The Metro customer is not the Boost customer…and Virgin only offers service on iPhones these days, not exactly low income customers.

  • did they call it racist?

    • Francisco Peña

      its still early, wait for it.

      • your right.. after all attempts fail, they will say its racist..

  • Francisco Peña

    Boost and Virgin.. lol let those just die out.. the 34 people that use it can manage other carriers.

  • Jim Mill

    Always California New York getting in the way stink and liberal states Yes really the only way Sprint and T-Mobile be able to compete with AT&T or Verizon it’s good for us

    • Sega$Corp.CEO

      Did you not take econ 101? Oligopolies collude on price.

    • Nearmsp

      Looks like you never went to college or read an Econ book.